Considering that Alabama hasn’t lost consecutive games in eight years, this might not be the best week to have the Crimson Tide on the schedule. Making matters worse, Mississippi State has been outscored 103-7 in the last three meetings. College football odds put Alabama as a three-score favorite
|Game: Alabama 5-1 at Mississippi State 3-2
Location: Davis Wade Stadium
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Alabama hasn’t lost to the Bulldogs since 2007 although there were one-score games in 2014 and ’17. The good news for Mississippi State is that the Bulldogs won’t need to contend with DeVonta Smith, now a member of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, who had 203 receiving yards and four touchdowns in last season’s 41-0 win. Alabama covered as a 32-point favorite. However, Alabama has limited to Bulldogs to a total of one touchdown in the last three meetings.
In last season’s game, Mississippi State’s longest drive in the first half went for 13 yards. The Bulldogs finished with more turnovers (3) than third-down conversions (2). Alabama, favored by 29 points, scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to cover against Mississippi State for the third season in a row.
Next game: vs. Tennessee
Seth Small’s 28-yard field goal on the last play of the game lifted Texas A&M to a 41-38 upset victory. The Aggies, an 18-point underdog according to the scores and odds trailed 38-31 with 5 minutes remaining. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher became the first Nick Saban assistant coach to beat his legendary Alabama head coach as Saban’s record against his former assistants fell to 24-1. The game also ended a 100-game winning streak against unranked opponents.
Running back Jase McClellan is out for the season with a knee injury. Linebacker Drew Sanders is expected to miss his second consecutive game after undergoing hand surgery. Highly touted true freshman Dallas Turner could see an expanded role due to Sanders’ absence.
Next game: at Vanderbilt
Texas A&M was also the most recent opponent for the Bulldogs who are coming off a bye week. Will Rogers connected with Makai Polk on touchdown passes of 15 and 20 yards in Mississippi State’s 26-22 victory. Rogers threw for 408 yards as the Bulldogs, a 9½-point underdog pulled off the upset despite rushing for only 30 yards.
Will Rogers recorded his second 400-yard passing game of the season and in the last three games, he has thrown for 1,198 yards with nine touchdowns and just one interception.
The Bulldogs also ended a three-game run of going under. That is nothing new as a sports betting trend as 11 of Mississippi State’s last 14 home games finished under the projected over/under number.
Betting on the Game
Alabama is 2-3 against the college football odds with both wins ironically coming against Mississippi schools thanks to blowout wins at the expense of Southern Mississippi and Ole Miss.
Brian Robinson had to wait his turn to be the featured running back for Alabama but he is hitting his stride with his first two 100-yard rushing games in the last two contests. He also had four catches against Texas A&M matching his season total coming into the game.
Mississippi State is last in the Southeastern Conference in rushing attempts and rushing yards. The Bulldogs have passed the ball more than three times as often as they have run the ball which is not unusual for a Mike Leach-coached team. Alabama’s passing defense was been, suspect. The Crimson Tide allows opposing teams to complete 65% of their passes which ranks 13th out of 14 teams in the SEC.
Getting pressure on Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers will be imperative after Alabama didn’t record a sack on 31 passing attempts in the Texas A&M loss.
Alabama is favored by 17 points, the lowest number against the Bulldogs since 2017, and Mississippi State covered in that game. The Bulldogs’ two losses are by a combined five points so this game will say a lot about how good they are. It is also a chance to learn more about an Alabama team that had six players taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.
Alabama doesn’t lose very often and motivation won’t be an issue in this one. The college football spreads posted a reasonable line of 17 and it won’t be surprising to see the Crimson Tide cover.