Top-ranked Alabama faces its second big test in as many weeks on Saturday when the Tide play host to No. 18 Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs, who come into this matchup ranked 18th in the nation, will look to spoil the Tide’s undefeated season with an upset — and they certainly have the defense to do so, even against Tua Tagovailoa and Co.
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The Bulldogs rank sixth nationally in total defense (279 yards allowed per game), seventh in pass defense (167.2 ypg), 18th in rush defense (111.4 ypg) and second in points allowed (12.3 points per game). It will be interesting to see how that group — led by talented defenders in Jeffrey Simmons, Montez Sweat and Mark McLaurin — fares against a Tide team that seems to be running on all cylinders.
Follow along as Sporting News provides live updates, highlights and scores from the biggest game of the week in the SEC:
First quarter: Alabama 14, Mississippi State 0
4:21 p.m.: Another three-and-out for MSU. Nick Fitzgerald hits Stephen Guidry for 12 yards to make it fourth-and-4 from the 31-yard line.
4:18 p.m.: Another sack for Bama. This time it’s — who else — Quinnen Williams. He continues to ball out this year. It’s third-and-16 for MSU from the 19.
4:17 p.m.: Mississippi State stars the drive with a sack. Isaiah Buggs again.
4:16 p.m.: On that drive: Alabama ran the ball on nine of 13 plays, including six straight to end the possession. Tide definitely content with taking the ball out of Tagovailoa’s hands (he’s 5 of 6 today for 67 yards).
4:13 p.m.: Touchdown! Another 1-yard touchdown run from Josh Jacobs makes it 14-0. The Tide have already scored more than MSU’s scoring average this year (12.3 ppg).
4:12 p.m.: Alabama keeps getting huge chunks of yards on the ground. Tide are driving at the MSU 1 now.
4:11 p.m.: Alabama gets some nice chunk plays from Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris (8-yard runs apiece) to get down to the MSU 25.
4:08 p.m.: Alabama continues to convert on third down. Against a five-man MSU rush, Tagovailoa takes his time and hits Jaylen Waddle on a 12-yard comeback route to the MSU 45.
4:06 p.m.: Bama starts the drive with a play-action rollout. Tagovailoa hits Irv Smith for a gain of 21 yards down the left sideline to the Bama 38.
4:03 p.m.: Alabama takes over at its 17 after a 51-yard punt by MSU’s Tucker Day.
4:02 p.m.: Mississippi State will punt after a three-and-out. The Bulldogs faced third-and-1 from their own 34, but Isaiah Buggs burst through untouched off the edge to hit Kylin Hill for a loss of 2 yards.
3:57 p.m.: Touchdown! A methodical Alabama drive nets the Tide the first score of the day: A 1-yard run from Josh Jacobs. On that drive: Tua Tagovailoa completed both of his passes for 30 yards (including a 25-yarder down to the 1-yard line). Damien Harris ran the ball five times for 29 yards.
This guy Tua is pretty good. pic.twitter.com/LEq8i9Yyfl
3:54 p.m.: Looks like Damien Harris may have fumbled on a carry, but Alabama snaps the ball before the refs think to review. The Tide continue their drive into Mississippi State territory.
3:51 p.m.: And here we go! Alabama takes the opening kickoff out to the 27-yard line to start the game.
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