Alabama Sleepwalks to Victory on Homecoming Against Bulldogs
The Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1) took care of business on Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium by beating the Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-3, 2-3) by a pedestrian score of 30-6. The Tide was dominant defensively throughout the evening, keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard until the game's final play.
"Well I was really pleased with the way our guys competed in the game tonight. I challenged them in terms of how they were going to respond. You respond with your ability, your positive energy, attitude, how you block, how you tackle, the enthusiasm that you play with. I was pleased with the way the guys competed, had fun. There wasn't a lot of anxiety," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
It wasn't always perfect execution but, to me, that's a start. It's kind of time to answer the bell and now the challenge is we need to build on that. We've got a BYE week coming up. We've got a lot of guys that we need to try to get healthy and I think we'll get some guys back, but I think the number one thing is we want to build on the chemistry of how we competed in the game today.'
Alabama responded to last week's loss to the Tennessee Volunteers by controlling the game, despite an inconsistent effort on the offensive end. The Tide now looks forward to a BYE week before heading on the road to take on the LSU Tigers.
The Crimson Tide was able to score points on four of its first five drives of the night, teasing Alabama fans that joyless murderball may be on the homecoming menu. However the offense sputtered, scoring two field goals on its next seven possessions.
Defending Heisman Trophy winner, Bryce Young continued to battle through the AC sprain in his shoulder but was 21-of-35 passing for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He spread the ball around effectively on Saturday night, finding 10 different pass catchers while attacking the Mississippi State secondary.
Defensively the headlines were stolen by preseason All-American Eli Ricks. The transfer from LSU was put into the starting lineup after the Crimson Tide's defensive debacle in Knoxville last week. Ricks tallied four pass breaks ups and two tackles on the evening while blanketing Bulldog receivers.
The Alabama defense was dominate through the evening, holding State to just six-points and keeping the Bulldogs to just 213 yards outside of the game's final drive in which the State tallied 76 yards.
It was obvious that Alabama emphasized correcting the penalties that have reared its ugly head throughout the season. The Crimson Tide only committed three penalties for 20 yards.
Alabama now gets a week of much needed rest to heal up and sharpen up for the final month of the regular season.
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