Mississippi State vs. Alabama fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Mississippi State (6-3) vs. Alabama (9-0) Game Preview
One Reason Why Mississippi State Will Win
Nick Fitzgerald, here’s your game.
Jordan Ta’amu was shut down after Ole Miss scored right away in the blowout loss, and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond and Missouri’s Drew Lock are terrific, but Fitzgerald presents a different sort of a problem.
He was good enough to give the Tide a few problems last year in a 31-24 Bama win, and now he has to be the type of mobile baller who can come up with the exact type of massive quarterback performance – like a Johnny Manziel, Chad Kelly and Deshaun Watson were able to do – to do a little bit of everything right.
Fitzgerald has always been a terrific runner, but over the last two weeks he’s been able to sharpen up the passing game with great games in wins over Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech, throwing for over 240 yards in each victory with six touchdowns.
The Bulldogs have the lines to hold up, with one side good enough to give Fitzgerald time to work, and the defense front amazing enough to get behind the line on a consistent basis and hold up against the run.
Mississippi State has the No. 1 defense in the SEC at the moment, not LSU, not Georgia, and not Alabama.
One Reason Why Alabama Will Win
And THERE’S the Alabama running game.
Najee Harris might be banged up with a sprained ankle, but the Tide still has a wave of talented runners who can pound away, and against the great LSU defensive front, the Tide cranked it up to come up with its best running game of the season.
The Mississippi State run defense has been amazing so far, but Kentucky was able to blast away for 229 yards and four scores. If needed, the Tide knows after its trip to Baton Rouge that it can get physical if it has to.
As good as the Bulldog D might be, it’s been hit for 200 passing yards or more in three of the four games before dominating Louisiana Tech. The Bama running game can work if needed, Tua Tagovailoa and the nation’s most efficient passing attack is still doing what it does, and the machine isn’t stopping.
Focus on slowing down Fitzgerald, make the Mississippi State offense one dimensional in some way, and get the balanced offense working. The Tide can do that – obviously.
What’s Going To Happen
Be very, very, very careful with this.
The timing is right for an Alabama clunker.
It’s beaten up a bit – from Tagovailoa’s knee, to Harris’s ankle, to dealing with a physical win over LSU – and it’s way overdue for a little bit of an exhale. There’s no down game in this program and under this coach, but … Alabama is in the SEC Championship now. Coming off the emotional road win, there can’t help but be a wee bit of a let down.
But the talent will come through, and the Tide will get the win and keep on rolling. However, it’s about to deal with a defense that can hold up, and Fitzgerald will be an issue.
Expect this to be a bit more of a fight than we’ve seen so far.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Alabama 30, Mississippi State 16
Line: Alabama -24, o/u: 53
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4
5: Watergate (on History Channel)
1: 52nd CMA Awards