Alabama vs Mississippi State: Inside The Matchups


One of the bigger November games in Alabama vs Mississippi State is getting close and the final four teams for the first College Football Playoff will start to become a little bit clearer after Saturday. Let’s take our weekly look inside the stats.

Alabama will be back in the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium where their offense goes from pretty good at times on the road to explosive at home. In fact, they average about 250 yards per game better at home as well as 27 points more per game.  The Bulldogs come in ranked 11th in the conference giving up an average 427 yards a game on 5.4 yards per play.

Tide quarterback Blake Sims seems to always operate better in Tuscaloosa than on the road. Saban said yesterday during his press conference that they could not pin point the reason, either. But for this weekend he is back at home. Mississippi State ranks near the bottom in the nation on yard’s given up through the air with just at 300 yards per game. That stat can be a bit skewed since teams were forced to throw to play catch up with the Bulldogs after falling behind. Even still, the secondary Sims will see on Saturday won’t be anything like what he had to deal with in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Bama wide receiver Amari Cooper should have a much better game than last weekend and if he can get yards after catch, it could be a big day for the Tide.

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Alabama may have a tough going on the ground, factoring in Mississippi State’s rushing defense and also just how healthy T.J. Yeldon is. The Bulldogs rank third in the conference, only allowing 126 yards a game while the Tide rushes for an average 206 yards per game. With one of the stouter front sevens in the conference, the Bulldogs could pose some problems for the Tide in that aspect.

The one factor on the Bulldogs’ side that can decide the game: Dak Prescott. Saban said that the Tide wanted to force the pocket back into Prescott and not necessarily go for sacks so that he would be contained. Prescott has enough speed that if you try to get after him, he can hurt you with his legs. Think back to the title game in New Orleans with LSU. Alabama used this same technique to keep LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson in the pocket.

The Bulldogs run the ball extremely well, averaging 254 yards per game and and 5.6 yards per play. On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Tide is the most stingy team in the conference in allowing rushing yards only giving up 89 yards per game and holding opponents to under 3 yards average per game. In a great breakdown from FoxSports (take time to read it if you can), there was a stat in there that said that the Tide defense had only given up 19 rushing plays over 10 yards all season. And here is one more stat to keep in the back of your mind.

Score Prediciton:

Alabama 31, Mississippi State 20