Alabama 24, Mississippi State 0
What Happened: Alabama caught a few nice breaks from the officials – they missed a Damien Harris fumble and called back an MSU touchdown on a phantom block in the back – but whatever … the Bulldogs were still shut out.
Harris and Josh Jacobs ran for two short scores, and Jacobs put the game away on a 14-yard touchdown dash for a 21-0 first half lead. The Tide only managed a 49-yard field goal the rest of the way, partly because …
What Mattered: Tua Tagovailoa was mortal. His banged up knee appears to be a problem, and he wasn’t his normal, perfect self completing 14-of-21 passes for 164 yards and a score with a pick. With Jalen Hurts hurt, Mac Jones completed just 3-of-6 passes for -1 yard. Josh Jacobs led Bama with 97 rushing yards and a score.
– Mississippi State managed just 44 yards on 30 carries – Nick Fitzgerald didn’t go anywhere. He needed to be amazing, and he completed 11-of-20 passes for 125 yards and was dropped for -23 rushing yards.
– The Bulldogs converted just 1-of-13 third down tries, missed both fourth down conversions, and closed out the first half with a thud, with flags and a missed field goal costing them a scoring chance.
What It All Means: Mississippi State is already bowl eligible, but it would be nice to close with a bang after this painful performance against the nation’s top team. With Arkansas and at Ole Miss to close, there’s still a lot to play for.
– Alabama really, really needs this week off against Citadel. It needs to give Tagovailoa’s knee a week to chill out, and it could use a little bit to rest up the key guys for Auburn and Georgia. At this point, all it has to do is win two out of its last three games to get into the College Football Playoff. One of those wins will come next week.
NEXT: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 7