Alabama Football: What we’re hearing from a Mississippi State expert

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

As we did last week with the Tennessee game, a companion FanSided site, Maroon and White Nation was kind enough to provide information for Alabama football fans. I did the same for the site’s Landon Young. He published two Friends with the Enemy posts this week. Check out my comments in Part Two.

Landon provided some interesting insights that are both summarized and quoted below. My thanks for his time and his candid observations.

Alabama Football vs. Mississippi State Questions

I asked if elite SEC defensive backs have made the Leach system any less effective. The response was,

"I don’t see the elite defensive backs as the problem. He’s proven that he can pass on pretty much any team besides Alabama of course. The number one issue that Leach is having is realizing he must establish the run to win ballgames."

In response to any deep-ball threats that could trouble the Crimson Tide. Landon said,

"Rara Thomas and Caleb Ducking have been the two deep-ball threats this season. They are taller, bigger guys that can go up for catches and make plays."

Leach’s passing attack has often been described with two words – short and quick. It is a possession offense that does not go deep frequently. What helps the Bulldogs is a very deep wide receiver position group. Speaking of big receivers, Thomas is 6’2″ and 201 lbs. and Ducking is 6’5″ and 205 lbs.

I asked Landon why the Bulldogs do not run well in road games.

"I feel as if this is a ‘panic mode’ issue. We get down early and feel as if we have to pass to get back in the game. When we are running the ball, the air raid offense tends to work."

Asking about the Mississippi State defense, Young ranked them “mid-tier” in the SEC and said,

"They’ve shown signs of big plays and big stops, but the bend/don’t break defense can only bend for so long before it snaps like it did on Saturday vs. the Wildcats."

Alabama football fans in Starkville, and in Bryant-Denny hate the cowbells. I asked Logan if any State fans ever found them annoying. His answer, as expected was,

"Are you kidding? No, it’s music to our ears."

Alabama Crimson Tide fans don’t know what it is to be accustomed to losing. Young admitted Bulldogs’ fans are “used to losing to Alabama.” He also the Egg Bowl is a much more important game to them. And it is especially so this season, because, in two tries, Mike Leach has not been able to beat Lane Kiffin.

Next. A Step Back to Redemption. dark

Earlier in the week, I made a score prediction of 48-13. I softened a bit in my communication with Logan to 41-13, and he predicted almost the same score of 40-14.