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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama football overcomes rough start to dominate Mississippi State for second SEC win

Jennifer Sttroud
Alabama football tight end CJ Dippre carries the ball during the Crimson Tide’s game against Mississippi State on Sep. 30 in Starkville, Miss.

It was a messy first 10 minutes for quarterback Jalen Milroe’s first road start for the Crimson Tide. Regardless, No. 12 Alabama football effectively shut down the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, 40-17, Saturday night.  

“I know there’s a lot of things we can improve on, but I also think there’s lots of good things we need to build on,” head coach Nick Saban said. 

Alabama’s opening drive saw a fired-up Saban on the sidelines.  

Two sacks, a dropped punt and a missed snap that bounced off Milroe all contributed to a frustrating start. 

Eventually, though, Milroe took it into his own hands to score Alabama’s first touchdown of the night, as Milroe burst through an open seam for a 53-yard rushing touchdown.  

From there, the defense took the reins.  

On the Bulldogs’ answering drive, defensive end Jah-Marien Latham tipped a pass from quarterback Will Rogers, and linebacker Chris Braswell caught the deflected ball. Braswell ran it 28 yards for the touchdown, and the Crimson Tide took an early 14-0 lead.  

“Scoring on defense is always something that players dream about, think about, always want to do, so it’s good to see,” Saban said.  

In the second quarter, a field goal and a touchdown from both teams left Alabama leading 24-10 with a minute left in the half.  

The Bulldogs hoped for one more chance to close the gap on the scoreboard before halftime, but on the first play of the drive, Rogers threw an interception to linebacker Jihaad Campbell, who took it 2 yards to the Mississippi State 31.  

Within 30 seconds, Milroe ran the ball for another touchdown, making the gap the Bulldogs would have to overcome even larger. 

Despite the way Mississippi State ended the first half, the Bulldogs came out of the locker room ready to rally in the third.  

Running back Jeffery Pittman led the way for the Bulldogs, marching down the field and ending with a 1-yard touchdown reception. With Alabama in the lead at 31-17, Mississippi State could have put together a second half that would have kept the game close.  

Instead, the Alabama defense refused to allow any more points. Linebacker Trezmen Marshall led the way, ending the night with 1.5 sacks and 9 total tackles. 

Saban said he was pleased with the Georgia transfer’s performance on Saturday. 

“He’s got maturity, he’s an older guy, he doesn’t get rattled out there,” Saban said. “He’s got a lot of mental toughness. He’s been a really solid player for us all year.” 

Kicker Will Reichard sealed the win for the Crimson Tide, kicking three field goals in the second half and going 4 for 4 on the night with two 48-yard attempts.  

Despite the Bulldogs’ notorious cowbells, the Crimson Tide won the last annual Battle for Highway 82. 

Milroe said the cowbells created a lot of noise that the Crimson Tide actively tried to combat.  

“This is a great atmosphere. It’s definitely loud, so our preparation was key,” Milroe said. “Mississippi State brought it in the stands for sure. That allowed us to try and build a great game plan to combat that. It was loud out here.” 

The Alabama Crimson Tide has another road game this Saturday, traveling to College Station to challenge the Texas A&M Aggies. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT, and the game will broadcast on CBS.  

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