TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 12 Alabama Crimson Tide will face its first conference road test this Saturday when they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium.
The series started in 1896 with the Alabama Crimson White shutting out the Mississippi A&M Aggies 20-0 on the Quad.
Alabama has faced Mississippi State more than any other team and leads the series 85-18-3.
For this week’s Red Zone Rewind, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest games in The Battle for Highway 82.
On Oct. 4, 1941, the Alabama Crimson Tide would face the Mississippi State Maroons in Denny Stadium with both teams undefeated at 1-0.
The Maroons would win 14-0 and go on to finish the season with an 8-1-1 record, winning the SEC Championship for the first and only time in program history.
The Tide would finish the season with a record of 9-2 and ranked No. 20 in the final AP Poll, four spots behind Mississippi State.
Alabama claims a share of the national championship due to its selection as national champion by the Houlgate System.
Some fans still believe that Mississippi State should claim the championship as well.
The Biggest Win in Mississippi State History
On Nov. 1, 1980, the No.1 and two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide traveled to Jackson, Miss. to put their 28-game winning streak on the line.
The Bulldogs held the Tide to only 116 yards on the ground and held the lead 6-3 late in the fourth quarter.
With less than a minute to go in the game Alabama had the ball at the Mississippi State 4-yard-line before linebacker Tyrone Keys forced a fumble to seal the upset victory.
After the game, Bryant would visit the Bulldog locker room to congratulate them on the win.
Alabama would also lose to No. 6 Notre Dame 7-0 at Legion Field two weeks later and would not win another national championship until 1992.
Mississippi State would find themselves in the Sun Bowl and lose to No. 8 Nebraska 31-17.
The Bulldogs would not beat the Tide on the field again until 1996.
The Last Win for the Bulldogs
On Nov. 10, 2007, Nick Saban and the No. 23 Alabama Crimson Tide traveled to Starkville, Miss. to try to get back in the win column after losing to No. 3 LSU the week before by a score of 41-34.
Mississippi State, led by former Alabama football player Sylvester Croom, would hold the Tide to only 12 points all of which came on field goals from Leigh Tiffin.
The Tide held a 9-3 lead with less than a minute to go in the first half and had the ball at the Bulldog two-yard-line when defensive back Anthony Johnson picked off John Parker Wilson and returned the interception 100 yards to take the lead 10-9.
Mississippi State would not trail again and go on to win the game 17-12, becoming bowl-eligible for the first time in seven years.
Alabama would go on to lose their final two games of the regular season, finishing 6-6 and leading some fans to ask why Mal Moore had even hired Saban.
Bama Takes Down No. 1
It was a new era of college football. The first College Football Playoff rankings had just been released and after defeating three straight top-ten teams Mississippi State was ranked No.1 for the first time in program history.
After holding that ranking for three weeks, Dak Prescott led the Bulldogs into Bryant-Denny Stadium for a date with No. 5 Alabama on Nov. 15, 2014.
The Tide defense forced three turnovers in the game, all interceptions by Prescott, and got the scoring started with a safety in the first quarter.
Alabama held a 19-3 lead at halftime.
The Bulldog offense would finally come alive in the fourth quarter but would run out of time.
After allowing Prescott to cut the lead to 19-13 early in the fourth quarter, Blake Sims would lead Alabama on a 15-play 76-yard drive that was capped off by a TJ Yeldon touchdown run to give the Tide a 25-13 lead with 8:05 left in the game.
Prescott would find Jameon Lewis for a touchdown with 15 seconds left to cut the lead to 25-20 but would not recover the onside kick.
Alabama would go on to win the SEC Championship and appear in the first-ever College Football Playoff.
The Tide Survive
The date was Nov. 11, 2017, and there had already been one upset earlier in the day.
No.1 Georgia had just lost on the road to No. 10 Auburn by a score of 40-17, and now it was time for No. 2 Alabama to take on No. 16 Mississippi State in Starkville.
It was a back-and-forth game with neither team able to get any separation from the other.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring with an Aeris Williams 11-yard touchdown run with 3:37 left in the first quarter, but the Tide would answer with a 5-play 75-yard drive finished off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jalen Hurts to tie the game.
In the second quarter, Mississippi State took back the lead on a touchdown run by Williams and once again Alabama answered with a 5-play 75-yard drive capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run this time by Josh Jacobs.
The score would be tied 14-14 at the half.
Alabama would take the lead for the first time on a 30-yard field goal from Andy Pappanastos early in the third quarter.
Mississippi State would take the lead 21-17 on the next drive with a touchdown run from quarterback Nick Fitzgerald then add to it with a field goal early in the fourth quarter from Jace Christmann.
Damien Harris would score on a 14-yard run to tie the game at 24 with 9:49 left in the game.
Neither team would score on the next three drives.
The Bulldogs would punt twice while the Tide had a chance to take the lead but missed a 41-yard field goal.
Alabama would get the ball back with a little over a minute left in the game.
After converting on third down with a 31-yard pass to Calvin Ridley, Hurts would turn to a freshman to try to take the lead.
With 25 seconds left, Hurts found DeVonta Smith on a slant and Smith broke one tackle to find his way into the endzone and silence the cowbells.
Later that evening Notre Dame would fall on the road to No.7 Miami, making the Crimson Tide the only top-three team to win that day.
Alabama would not win the SEC that year but would still find themselves in the national championship game where Smith would once again catch the game-winning touchdown against a team called the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State will look to get their first conference win of the season while Alabama will try to show that they can win in a truly hostile environment. The game will air on ESPN and kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CDT.