After a win over LSU last week, the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1, 5-1) have their sights set on an SEC West championship followed by a return to the College Football Playoff. The Tide are looking for a repeat performance of last season when they ran the table after an early loss and went on to finish in the top four. Since losing to Ole Miss in Week 3, Alabama has rattled off eight straight wins and controls their own destiny heading into Starkville to take on No. 17 Mississippi State (7-2, 3-2) on Saturday afternoon.
Alabama’s offense is led by workhorse and Heisman Trophy candidate Derrick Henry, who leads the SEC in carries (218). Henry ranks No. 2 in yards (1,254) with 5.8 yards per carry and at least one touchdown in every game. He rushed for 210 yards and three scores in a 30-16 win over LSU and has compiled 589 yards and seven scores on 98 carries in the last three games.
The Bulldogs rank No. 67 in rush defense, allowing 167.7 yards per game on the ground. They gave up 215 yards rushing in a rainy 31-13 win at Missouri last week, but rank No. 11 overall in points allowed (17.2).
The Tide bring the No. 2-ranked run defense (78.5 yards per game) into this road contest after slowing LSU's Leonard Fournette for just 31 yards on 19 carries. The No. 7 scoring defense (16.3 points per game) marches into Davis Wade Stadium to face all-purpose quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott is No. 3 in the SEC in passing yards (2,351) and No. 1 in completion percentage (66.7). He’s thrown for over 300 yards in each of his last three games, tallying 10 touchdowns and one interception in that stretch. Prescott has 25 scores (18 passing) and just one interception in 2015.
Since their 43-37 loss to Ole Miss, Alabama’s pass defense has allowed five touchdowns while intercepting eight passes. They have allowed just one passer to throw over 200 yards in that stretch while their defense as a whole has given up 77 points in six games.
Start Time: 3:30 p.m.
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS All Access
Prediction: Dak Prescott’s dual-threat nature and athleticism could make him a tougher test for Alabama than even Fournette was last week. Still, Alabama is too powerful on both lines, and Henry should run the ball with ease leaving Mississippi State forced to play catch up.
Predicted Score: Alabama over Mississippi State, 31-20