Mississippi State football failed to keep it close against Alabama. Despite making a handful of stops, the defense continued to struggle. What did we see out of the Bulldogs’ defense against the Crimson Tide?
Mississippi State football’s game against Alabama was both a reflection on how their 2023 season has played out thus far and how the series against the Crimson Tide has gone since Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa (well, besides his first year). State was, largely, dominated throughout the game on way to a 40-17 defeat.
In the few moments in which MSU made the game somewhat interesting, Bama quickly responded to prevent the game from ever being in doubt. And despite a strong start to the game and a solid performance in the second half, the Bulldog defense found little success in limiting an Alabama offense that has been mostly underwhelming so far this season.
The 40 points allowed doesn’t tell the full story of how State’s defense played. Alabama had a pick six as well as another interception that set them up with good field position. But the Tide still scored on five-straight possessions in this game and had little issues moving the ball against MSU. And while holding a team to 357 yards of offense is respectable in today’s game, the Tide had 251 of those yards in the first half. MSU’s defense certainly played a bit more sound in the second half, but there was definitely some “coasting” from the Tide offense at that point.
Mississippi State’s defense has been poor for almost the entirety of the 2023 season. Beyond a few flashes against Alabama, they did little to reverse that trend this past Saturday. Every issue that has plagued the defense so far showed up in this game.
Here’s some of what we saw out of the Mississippi State defense against Alabama…