Alabama Football: Bulldogs defense tough, Crimson Tide defense tougher


Alabama football did not explode on offense, but with defense and the kicking game, the Tide won easily, shutting out Mississippi State.

For Alabama football, the Mississippi State game began like most other games this season, with the Tide looking dominating on offense. The Crimson Tide led 14-0 after one quarter. The offensive output of the teams indicated a huge gap between the SEC opponents. In the first quarter, Alabama football gained 150 yards, Mississippi State gained only 13 yards.

Eighty-three of the Tide’s first quarter yards were gained on the ground, with an average of 4.9 yards-per-carry. The second quarter was a different story. The Bulldogs outgained the Tide in the second quarter, 72 yards to 66 yards. The Tide’s rushing average dropped to 0.6 yards-per-carry.

The obvious difference seen by Alabama football fans was the loss of left guard Deonte Brown to injury. After Lester Cotton replaced Brown, the left side of the Tide’s offensive line ceased to dominate. Harder for fans to understand is what adjustments Mississippi State made to throttle the Tide’s rushing attack. The Bulldogs defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop is experienced and respected. The Tide rushing attack did not go from awesome to awful just because of the absence of Deonte Brown.

Once the Tide rushing attack was contained, teeing off on Tua came easier for the Bulldogs defenders. Eventually, Mississippi State would sack Tua four times and put him under pressure numerous times more.

In the end, the Crimson Tide had its lowest offensive output of the season, 305 yards. Alabama football could have won with even fewer yards because the Crimson Tide defense was superb. Mississippi State could only muster 169 yards. The Bulldogs, regularly led by Nick Fitzgerald’s running, could only rush for a net 44 yards against the Crimson Tide.

For two and a half quarters, the Mississippi State defense was sensational. The Alabama football defense was sensational for four quarters. The Alabama football defense was so good. it did not matter the Crimson Tide offense was ineffective in the second half.

The Bulldogs tried to mount a second-half comeback. The Crimson Tide defense did not bend, giving up only 51, third-quarter yards and 33, fourth-quarter yards. The Tide did the Bulldogs one better in sacks, bringing down Nick Fitzgerald five times in the game. The Alabama football defense also topped the Bulldogs in tackles for a loss, ten for the Tide to seven for Mississippi State.

To top all the old-school football off, the Crimson Tide also won the kicking game. State missed a 41-yard field goal. Crimson Tide kicker, Joseph Bulovas was good from 49 yards. In addition, Tide punter, Mike Bernier (with a little help from Patrick Surtain Jr.) pinned the Bulldogs down inside the two-yard-line with a perfect punt.

Across the nation, college football fans will say the Crimson Tide won ugly, beating the No. 16 team, only 24-0. Unless Tua is more injured than Nick Saban admitted after the game, we don’t call this win ugly at all. There is nothing ugly about defensive domination as seen in the tweet below.

Credit Mississippi State for a fine, old-style defensive performance. More credit is deserved for the Crimson Tide defense and its coordinator, Tosh Lupoi. The Tide defense was exceptional.

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There are just two more games left at home in a season that has flown by at warp speed. Hats off to a gritty Crimson Tide team that at 10-0, continues to improve.