Mississippi State — 0-3-3-14—20
Alabama — 5-14-0-6—25
For the first time in over a month, there will be a new No. 1 team in the country. Fifth-ranked Alabama intercepted Dak Prescott 3 times and knocked off top-ranked Mississippi State 25-20 on Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
The Bulldogs (9-1, 5-1 SEC) entered the game atop the polls for 5 weeks and were also No. 1 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. When the new CFP rankings come out Tuesday evening, there will be a shakeup in the Top 4. The Crimson Tide won their fifth straight, improving to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in the SEC.
Dak Prescott Threw For 290 Yards in The Loss To Alabama
Mississippi State moved the ball on Alabama, outgaining the Tide 428 to 335. Dak Prescott finished 27-for-48 for 290 and 2 touchdowns, but also threw 3 interceptions. The quarterback also led the team in rushing with 82 yards on 22 carries. De’Runnya Wilson caught 8 passes for 91 yards.
Running a hurry-up offense down 25-13, Prescott hit Jameon Lewis for a 4-yard score with 15 seconds let to cut the lead to 25-20. An on-side kick attempt was recovered by Alabama, which needed only a kneel down to end the game.
For Alabama, Blake Sims threw for 211 yards and a touchdown to Amari Cooper, who finished with 8 catches for 88 yards. TJ Yeldon shook off a sprained ankle to run for 72 yards and the game-clinching score with 8:09 left in the 4th quarter.
Alabama Intercepted Prescott 3 Times
Prescott accounted for nearly 375 yards, but also threw 3 interceptions, including 2 deep in Alabama territory. The 3 picks were a season-high and he now has 10 on the year, including 8 in the past 5 games.
Another drive stalled for Mississippi State when quarterback Prescott threw his 3rd interception of the game, this time being picked off by Alabama defensive back Landon Collins inside the Crimson Tide 20 yard line.
After Adam Griffith missed a field goal, Mississippi State took control of the ball at its own 20 and quarterback Prescott led the Bulldogs deep into Alabama territory. Prescott had thrown for 59 yards on the drive, but was picked off in the end zone by Cyrus Jones, ending the drive.
The State defense held, though, forcing a 3-and-out for Alabama.
After a punt pinned Mississippi State at its own 10 yard line, the Bulldogs began to mount a drive. They moved the ball to the Alabama 40 in 7 plays. But the Tide defense stepped up when Nick Perry intercepted a Prescott pass, giving Alabama the ball.
Alabama did not turn the ball over.
Alabama Countered Mississippi State’s Touchdown With One Of Its Own
Mississippi State had just cut into the Tide’s lead, but the Alabama offense answered with a 15-play, 76-yard drive which ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by TJ Yeldon. Alabama went for the 2-point conversion but a Blake Sims pass went incomplete.
The Crimson Tide converted on 3 3rd down plays, including twice on Sims’ runs. He scampered for 10 yards on a 3rd and 8 and for 11 on a 3rd and 10. Yeldon ran for 33 yards on the drive and added an 8-yard reception.
An Overruled Fumble Turned Into a Tide Touchdown
Derrick Henry scored on a 1-yard run to give Alabama a 19-0 lead. Though it came with a little controversy. The play was ruled a fumble on the field with Mississippi State recovering. But it was sent to the replay booth where it was overturned, giving Henry his 4th touchdown of the season.
The touchdown was set up by a 50-yard pass from Blake Sims to Amari Cooper to the Bulldogs’ 1.
Sims Hit Cooper To Extend The Tide’s Lead
Alabama capitalized off a Mississippi State turnover, driving 61 yards in 1:51 to score the game’s first offensive touchdown. Quarterback Blake Sims hit his favorite target Amari Cooper from 4 yards out to give the Crimson Tide a 12-0 lead. Sims passed to running back Jalston Fowler for a 35-yard gain on the drive’s first play, giving Alabama a 1st and 10 at Mississippi State’s 26.
The Scoring Got Started With a Safety For Alabama
After three possessions and three punts to start the game (2 by Alabama, 1 by Mississippi State), Alabama’s defense was responsible for the first score of the game. Linebacker Trey DePriest shot through the line to tackle Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson in the end zone for a safety, giving the Crimson Tide a 2-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Preview: No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 5 Alabama Set For Key SEC Showdown
Normally when Mississippi State and Alabama play a football game, it isn’t must-see TV. Usually the Crimson Tide is ranked highly and the Bulldogs are not. Alabama has won 6 straight meetings, including 11 of the past 13.
This season, things are a little different.
When Mississippi State plays at Alabama today, it will be doing so as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Bulldogs are coming off a 45-16 win over UT Martin, improving their record to 9-0, the first time in school history the team has hit that mark. Quarterback Dak Prescott is a Heisman Trophy candidate, accounting for 29 total touchdowns (18 passing) and leading the Bulldogs to 522 yards per game, tops in the Southeastern Conference and sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Alabama (8-1) picked up a thrilling win last week, defeating LSU 20-13 in overtime. Star running back TJ Yeldon sprained his ankle in the game, but practiced most of the week and is expected to play, according to head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide has a Heisman hopeful of their own in wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper leads the SEC in receptions (79), receiving yards (1,215) and touchdowns (10).
The game can be seen on CBS at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Verne Lundquist will handle the play-by-play with Gary Danielson as the analyst. Allie LaForce will be the sideline reporter.