THE Mississippi State vs. Alabama Game Preview


The Mississippi State Bulldogs will host the Alabama Crimson Tide in a re-match of the monster top five clash from last year which the Tide won, 25-20. It’s another CBS afternoon/twilight/early evening affair that may be a bit chilly as the fall season is in full force.

MSU and Bama are the only two SEC teams to be ranked in every single College Football Playoff poll. They are the only two SEC teams to be ranked #1 in the history of the College Football Playoff rankings, and only two of three ever (current #1 Clemson being the other).

Since the beginning of 2014, these two teams have the best records in the SEC. State is 17-5, Alabama is 20-3. Over each of their last 25 games, they are both 20-5; against the best mark in the SEC.

Those numbers are sure to surprise most folks. Especially those who wrote of Mississippi State in July, and then again after losing to LSU and Texas A&M. But the Bulldogs have battled back for a 7-2 record that has placed them at a #17 record as they welcome the #2 Crimson Tide to Davis Wade Stadium.

Statistical Comparison

MSU rushing offense: 147 YPG (95th) vs. Bama rushing defense: 76 YPG (2nd)

MSU passing offense: 296 YPG (21st) vs. Bama passing defense: 190 YPG (25th)

Bama rushing offense: 195 YPG (35th) vs. MSU rushing defense: 168 YPG (68th)

Bama passing offense: 228 YPG (66th) vs. MSU passing defense: 202 YPG (43rd)


The Bulldogs will have heavy hearts as they play this game after the loss of their teammate, Keith Joseph, Jr., and his father on November 6th. The team attended a memorial for the two on Thursday.

MSU will wear “MJ” decals on their helmets in remembrance of Kieth. He was known by that nickname to his teammates.

When Nick Bell passed away five years ago it was also Alabama who the Dawgs played first. Looking for a different result this time at home.


The last three or four years I’ve spent Bama week racking my brain for just how State could beat the Tide. I convinced myself in 2012 we could win the game…but we lost 38-7. Then in 2013 and 2014 as well, it looked like State could win if they played well, but no dice. Each year, however, the Dawgs have gotten closer – losing 20-7 in 2013 and by just five points last year.

There’s things like not allowing big plays, or figuring out how to run the ball enough so Dak Prescott can throw. But most of all, it’s don’t make mistakes. Easier said than done I know.

It feels like in the last two years MSU could’ve beaten Alabama with a typical Dak game. He was injured and did not play in 2013. In 2014, he threw three interceptions – two of which were in the red zone. But if we have Dak for an entire game – the usual Dak – the quarterback who has only thrown one INT all year and has excelled as a passer – maybe the Dawgs can pull off the upset.

It wouldn’t be such a huge upset considering just how good State has been over the last couple of years. But Dan Mullen has yet to beat Nick Saban. He’s 0 for 6. He’s never even held a lead against the Crimson Tide.

There’s always hope against Bama – and sometimes we grab a win against them. They are few and far between, but it’s been eight years so it’s about time. It’ll take our A game to win, we’ll see if the Bulldogs can pass the test.