On Saturday night in Starkville, Alabama Football rolled to a not easy 40-17 win over Mississippi State. The outcome was never much in doubt at Davis-Wade Stadium, but it took the Crimson Tide offense over 10 minutes to get untracked.
The opening score that followed the 10 minutes was from a 53-yard touchdown scramble by Jalen Milroe. Prior to Milroe’s score, the Alabama Crimson Tide kept making it hard on itself.
On the Tide’s first offensive play, Jase McClellan ran for 12 yards. Two sacks quickly ended the drive. Mississippi State responded with a three-and-out. Receiving the State punt, Kool-Aid fumbled and miraculously Alabama recovered. A false start contributed to the Tide’s second possession being a three-and-out. The first two possessions mirrored the Tide’s first-half travails a week before against Ole Miss.
The Milroe touchdown was followed three scrimmage plays later by Jah-Marien Latham tipping a Will Rogers pass, that was intercepted by Chris Braswell and returned for a touchdown.
At 14-0 and 3:51 left in the first quarter, it appeared all might be well with the Crimson Tide. As evidence quickly showed. Nick Saban knew all was not well with the Crimson Tide.
After the game, Saban opened the media review by saying,
"We’re not where we want to be. We’re not where we need to be.I know there’s a lot of things we can improve on. But I also think there’s a lot of good things that we need to build on."
Nick Saban during the game’s first half, did not spend time reflecting on ‘good things.’ Instead, he got in the face of multiple Alabama football players. He looked every bit the part of the old ‘pre-mellowed’ Nick Saban that Crimson Tide fans have been missing. And Saban kept it up throughout the game.
Asked about being so animated on the sidelines, Nick Saban said,
"Miss. Terry told me, if we’re not playing good to get on their butt. So I just did what I was told."
Alabama Football Message
The result all around was an intensely communicated mandate for Alabama football players to do their jobs regardless of the score in a game or the quality of an opponent. Alabama Crimson Tide players absorbed the lessons. Alabama football fans loved them.
The full post-game media session can be seen below.
Week six is another SEC road game for the Crimson Tide. Against the Texas A&M Aggies, Alabama, starting as it did against Ole Miss and Mississippi State is not advised.