Alabama vs Mississippi State prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, October 16
Alabama vs Mississippi State How To Watch
Date: Saturday, October 16
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS
How To Watch: ESPN
Record: Alabama (5-1), Mississippi State (3-2)
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Alabama vs Mississippi State Game Preview
Why Alabama Will Win
The offense still works.
It didn’t run the ball like it needed to late against Texas A&M, and the 153 yards overall on the ground weren’t enough, but Bryce Young and the passing game were enough to hang up 522 yards of overall total offense.
That should’ve been enough to win.
Against Mississippi State the job is simple. Be Alabama.
The Bulldogs have been inconsistent on pass defense. Oddly enough, the two losses came on two of the team’s best games of the season on third downs – on both sides of the ball – but LSU was able to hit the big play in its 28-25 win, and Memphis got the one weird punt return for a score ad was able to throw just well enough when it had to.
The Alabama passing attack is averaging over nine yards per throw with 21 touchdowns and three picks. Young wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be against A&M, but as long as he’s hitting close to 65% of his throws, he should be okay.
There’s zero Mississippi State running game to worry about, so it’s just about stopping the short-to-midrange throws and getting the D off the field. However …
Why Mississippi State Will Win
This isn’t your 2020 Mississippi State.
Last year’s offense gave the ball away for the asking. QB Will Rogers and the O have had their moments, but for the most part they’ve been able to keep the mistakes to a minimum. The biggest key, though, has been the offense’s consistency.
The Bulldogs under Mike Leach are going to throw it a bazillion times, and Rogers has been great with three touchdown passes in every game but the win over NC State – he threw two.
Even in the losses he hit more than 75% of his passes and bombed away up and down the field. He’ll get his yards, and he has to be excellent when the offense gets its chances. For all of the good things the Alabama defense has done – and it has done good things – it’s got a problem in the red zone.
Over the last four games, it’s allowed ten touchdowns in 13 trips inside the 20.
What’s Going To Happen
The 2019 Alabama team lost to Joe Burrow and the epic LSU squad. A week later it won at Mississippi State 38-7.
In 2018, the Tide lost to Auburn, but went on to its next game to thump Clemson in the College Football Playoff on the way to the national title.
In 2015 – it’s hard to find Tide regular season losses – the team followed up a loss to Ole Miss with a 34-0 win over ULM, and it rocked Mississippi State 24-7 a week after losing to LSU 9-6 in 2011.
The blowout outlier was a 14-13 win over Arkansas in 2014 a week after losing to Ole Miss, but in general, the Tide fix the glitch whenever there is one.
2013 was the last time Bama lost back-to-back games, and that came on the Kick Six against Auburn followed up by a totally heartbroken loss to a jacked Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
Same thing in 2008 – a brutal SEC Championship loss to Tim Tebow and Florida led to a lifeless Sugar Bowl loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.
The last time the University of Alabama lost back-to-back regular season games was all the way back in 2007. That was the last time the school lost to Mississippi State, too.
The Bulldogs will get a few passing yards to keep this interesting, and the better-than-you-think defense will keep this from getting out of hand, but you’re messing with history here if you think Nick Saban is about to lose two straight regular season games.
Alabama vs Mississippi State Prediction, Line
Alabama 38, Mississippi State 20
Line: Alabama -17, o/u: 57.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
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Must See Rating: 4
5: Caramel apple anything
1: Pumpkin spice anything