Alabama Football: Offensive Report Card vs Mississippi State

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

What initially looked like it was going to be a rout of Mississippi State for Alabama football eventually turned into a lopsided defensive struggle as the Bama offense got stuck in the mud. The Crimson Tide offense found the end zone on three of its four possessions to take a commanding 21-0 first half lead, but would not find the end zone again. Still, Alabama cruised to a 30-6 victory.

The last seven drives of the game for Alabama resulted in five punts and two field goals, netting just 116 yards on 41 plays. One particularly bad sequence summed up the night: Mississippi State muffed a punt after an Alabama three and out, giving the Tide the ball in the red zone. Alabama failed to capitalize on the gift, and the back-to-back possessions combined to gain four yards on nine plays. When you consider the fact that Mississippi State committed two penalties for a total of ten yards during that time frame, Bama’s nine plays actually went for negative six yards.

For the game, Alabama tallied just 290 yards of total offense. Here are the position group grades for the Alabama offense.

Alabama Football Quarterbacks: C

Bryce Young looked out of sync for much of this game. He threw two early touchdowns, but had trouble generating offense after that.

Before completing his last two passes of the game, Young was on a two quarter stretch in which he completed six of 16 passes for just 47 yards.

The offense in general seemed out of rhythm. Receivers never seemed to be able to get open on their initial routes, forcing Young to scramble, buy time, and redirect receivers on a regular basis.

Bryce Young uncharacteristically missed some open receivers on relatively easy throws, usually resulting in an Alabama punt. He also got lackadaisical in the pocket on one play, and ultimately fumbled before quickly recovering the ball. For the game, Young completed 21 of 35 passes for 249 yards.

If there is anybody on the team who gets a mulligan for a subpar performance, it’s Bryce Young. I have full confidence that he will come out of the bye week looking like himself again.

Alabama Football Running Backs: C

Alabama did not run the ball well against Mississippi State, compiling just 40 yards for the game. Jahmyr Gibbs got a lighter workload this week, and was solid but not spectacular. He totaled 70 yards on 14 offensive touches and scored a rushing touchdown.

Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams had rough games, combining for 16 rushing yards on 12 attempts (1.3 YPC).

Alabama Football Receivers: B

After getting out to a fast start, the Alabama receivers were quiet amidst an ugly offensive outing. Sophomore Ja’Corey Brooks led the way with three receptions for 74 yards. Classmate Jojo Earle had three catches for 38 yards, including his second touchdown of the season.

Traeshon Holden had two catches for 23 yards and a score, and Jermaine Burton had two grabs for 40 yards. Freshmen Kobe Prentice and Isaiah Bond made the box score but had little impact on the game. It’s also worth noting that Louisville transfer Tyler Harrell made his first appearance of the season, catching a 12-yard pass from Jalen Milroe.

Alabama Football Offensive Line: C-

The Alabama offensive line did not play up the standard it had previously set for itself. On true running plays, Alabama running backs totaled just 53 yards on 22 carries (2.4 YPC). This number is especially alarming when you consider that Mississippi State entered the game as one of the worst run defenses in the nation.

When you factor in the two sacks this unit allowed and a mishandled snap, Alabama was credited with just 29 rushing yards on 27 attempts.

For much of this season, Alabama’s run game has been a paper tiger and this game was a perfect example. The Crimson Tide led the FBS in YPC average for several weeks, but was over reliant on explosive plays to hit this number.

In the past two games, Alabama has been limited in its explosive runs and has gained just 143 yards on 58 carries (2.5 YPC). The Crimson Tide has to find a way to establish consistency in the run game going forward.

Darrian Dalcourt got the start at center, and Seth McLaughlin, who seemingly gave the running game a boost earlier this season, did not play. The starting offensive line remained otherwise unchanged.

Next. Appreciating the win. dark

The Alabama offense struggled today, but has been fairly consistent with Bryce Young at the helm. The unit should come out of the bye week a little healthier, and a lot more polished.