Beginning their toughest stretch of the season, the Alabama Crimson Tide meet the Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The No. 1 Crimson Tide completed their seventh straight blowout last week against Tennessee 44-13, led by quarterback AJ McCarron’s four touchdown passes and T.J. Yelton’s 129 rushing yards and two scores.
Receiver Amari Cooper made seven catches for 162 yards and was the recipient of two of McCarron’s touchdowns.
McCarron threw for a season-high 306 yards, and it was Yeldon’s second straight 100-yard rushing game.
Alabama’s closest victory was to Ole Miss back on Sept. 29, and that was 19 points, but the nation’s top ranked defense also boasts the fewest rushing yards allowed per carry at 1.9, and the second lowest passing yards per attempt at 9.98.
Unbeaten Mississippi State poses the biggest threat the Crimson Tide has faced since their season opener against Michigan.
In their tune-up before Alabama, the No. 13 Bulldogs scorched Middle Tennessee 45-3 with a balanced attack led by quarterback Tyler Russell and senior defensive back Johnthan Banks.
Russell went 17-for-21 for 191 yards and three touchdowns, and Banks tied a school record with 16 th career interception.
Running back LaDarius Perkins notched his third straight 100 yard rushing game, and fourth this season, with 125 yards and a touchdown. He leads the team with 724 rushing yards and eight scores.
Both teams start the most difficult part of their schedule Saturday night, as both will play Texas A&M and LSU in the next two weeks.
That will be a daunting three week stretch for both, but especially Mississippi State, who has not faced a ranked opponent all season
Prediction: If Alabama does slip up it will be in its next three games, but the Bulldogs haven’t played a team nearly as strong as the Crimson Tide all season. Look for Alabama to win big again.
Betting Odds: Alabama is favored by 23 points
Over/Under: 47 points
Predicted Score: Alabama 35, Mississippi State 10