TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Young passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns and Alabama’s No. 6 defense continued its dominance over No. 24 Mississippi State in a 30-6 win Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from their first loss of the season, a 52-49 loss to No. 3 Tennessee. The Alabama defenders got a measure of redemption after giving up more runs than any Alabama team since 1907.
The Tide get back on track after the loss, especially the defense.
“For me, it’s a start,” said Tide coach Nick Saban. “It’s a bit of a time to answer the bell and now the challenge is we have to build on that.”
The normally prolific Will Rogers and the Bulldogs (5-3, 3-3) still couldn’t reach the end zone against Alabama before the final game. It was the first touchdown Mississippi State had scored against the Tide in three games under coach Mike Leach, going up (120-15).
Rogers completed 30 of 60 passes for 231 yards. Jo’quavious Marks scored from a 1-yard run to end the game. Young completed 21 of 35 passes with some long on scrambles, including a 31-yard TD to JoJo Earle.
This one didn’t turn into a star quarterback showdown, however, but a statement game for ‘Bama”s defence. The Tide, who started LSU transfer cornerback Eli Ricks for the first time, had 15 pass breakups and four sacks after falling victim to the Volunteers.
Ricks, who didn’t play against Tennessee, and teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry each broke up four passes.
Alabama has won the last four meetings at Bryant-Denny Stadium by a combined 136-9.
Mississippi State has now lost two straight games. The Bulldogs had failed on fourth down of Tide’s 15 and 30 in the first half. They’ve gone there six times in fourth, converting three.
Alabama: The Tide cleaned up their number after being scored 17 times against Tennessee. Alabama committed three penalties for 20 yards. But the Tide only gained 29 yards on 27 carries, including sacks.
Mississippi State wore “SW 78” stickers on their helmets in honor of Sam Westmoreland, a freshman offensive lineman who died Wednesday. There was a minute of silence before the game. The coroner said no foul play was suspected, but did not release details.
ABSENCES IN ALABAMA
Alabama defensive tackles DJ Dale and Jaheim Oatis watched the game in street clothes, with Dale wearing a boot on his left leg. Linebacker Deontae Lawson also did not play. However, wide receiver Jermaine Burton started after Alabama reviewed a postgame incident where he appeared to hit a Tennessee fan running off the field in a wild scene.
Saban said they had it in a counseling program, emphasizing that it was not about managing anger but “having the appropriate respect for others. I didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the guy.
Alabama visits LSU on Nov. 5.
Mississippi State hosts Auburn on November 5
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