Mississippi St. Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Mississippi State Bulldogs look to make a statement and become bowl eligible as they host the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday. The Crimson Tide are -17 point favorites over the Bulldogs with an over/under point total set at 53.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs still have time to turn around what has been a disappointing season and while they have won two in a row and three of their last four, a win over Alabama won’t just make them bowl eligible, it would give them their biggest win this year. Tyler Russell has been a much more effective passer than Chris Relf but Relf saw action last week and looked good so it’s possible Dan Mullen will integrate him back into the offense especially in a game like this where he is going to need to pull out the unexpected. Vic Ballard remains as one of the more underestimated backs in the nation but all he seems to do is quietly gobble up yards and score touchdowns and he will be a solid matchup for the Alabama defense. Arceto Clark and Chad Bumphis are a capable tandem at receiver but they have been underused in the MSU offense. Mississippi State’s defense has been solid for the better part as since allowing 41 to points to Auburn in the second game of the year, they haven’t been lit up at all this season allowing 24 points to Georgia and not allowing more than 20 points in any other game. The Bulldogs will be put to the test on Saturday.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are licking their wounds as Nick Saban’s team looks to bounce back from their first loss of the season and a loss that in all likelihood will keep them out of the BCS National Championship game. Q.B. A.J. McCarron has played well for the most part this season but he made a few bad decisions last week that were part of the reason the Tide took the loss. Trent Richardson’s Heisman Trophy hopes took a hit with the loss but it doesn’t mean he isn’t one of the most talented players in the nation and he must be accounted for on every play. Marquis Maze was dinged up in the LSU loss and Darius Hanks doesn’t seem to have number one wide receiver ability so receiver could be a mild concern for Alabama. The Alabama defense has been rock solid all year and even in defeat they we nearly impossible to score on as they held LSU to a field goal after the Tigers got the ball on the Bama 15 off of a turnover. Mark Barron and Dont’a Hightower are simply two of the best defenders in the nation.
Mississippi State is 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 home games against a team with a winning road record, 7-3 against the spread following a win by more than 20 points, and 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 games in November. Alabama is 5-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 5-1 against the spread in their last sox SEC games, and 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games following a loss. The road team has covered in seven of the last 10 meetings of these two.
No one has been killing Mississippi State and putting up big points and while the Tide is talented, the are physically not in their best shape as last Saturday’s battle took it’s toll. Bama dominates and wins but Mississippi State gets the cover with the generous number.
Mississippi St. Bulldogs +17 Alabama Crimson Tide