The Alabama Crimson Tide showed why they are the best team in the country, dominating the Mississippi State Bulldogs from bell to bell, 38-7. The victory made Alabama the last SEC team standing after beating the previously unbeaten Bulldogs.
The Tide controlled the game from the get-go, establishing their dominant defense as AJ McCarron paced the Alabama offense with two passing touchdowns in the first half.
With a 24-0 lead at halftime, the Tide went on cruise control in the second, putting up 14 more points and giving up a garbage-time touchdown to make the final score 38-7.
Tweets of the Night
ESPN Stats and Info set the scene before the game, reminding fans just how rare a Bulldogs victory would have been against the No. 1 team in the country.
Mississippi State's last win against an AP No. 1 team came in 1980 against No. 1 Alabama. #Dejavu tonight?— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 27, 2012
ESPN College Football pointed out another aspect of Bama's recent dominance. The Tide are the best at getting out ahead of opponents in the first half.
Alabama leads MSU 24-0 at the half. Over last 28 games, Bama has either led or been tied at halftime. #MSUvsBAMA— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 28, 2012
College Sports Nation's Paul Finebaum warned Oregon fans that they should be careful what they wish for in regards to a potential national championship game against Alabama.
So Oregon fans, are you sure about wanting a piece of this Alabama defense? Think again.— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 28, 2012
Key Grades for Mississippi State
QB Tyler Russell: C-
Russell had been a big part of the Bulldogs' success this season with 15 passing touchdowns to only one interception, but he became another victim of an elite Alabama defense.
Considering the opposition, Russell wasn't awful. He had his moments, but ultimately didn't come close to the performance he would have needed to lead the Bulldog upset.
RB LaDarius Perkins: D
Perkins was another key cog in the Bulldogs offense. The usually explosive Perkins was completely bottled up by the Alabama defense.
The early deficit certainly didn't help, but no one-dimensional offense can beat this Alabama team, and Perkins didn't provide the support on the ground needed to pose a threat.
Key Grades for Alabama
QB AJ McCarron: A
The Tide are known for the physical running attack they bring to the game offensively, but it was McCarron that truly shined in this one.
Mississippi State was able to stuff the run on a few occasions in the early going, but McCarron showed that he's more than a game manager by successfully opening up the offense. His numbers may not have been as gaudy as other quarterbacks around the country, but it's hard to deny that his performance was impressive.
RB T.J. Yeldon: A-
Mississippi State was able to load the box and contain the Bama rushing attack at the beginning of the game, but once Yeldon got going, it was game over for the Bulldogs. The explosive freshman was a huge factor once again.
He may not have had a ton of carries, but Yeldon made his opportunities count. His 10 carries for 84 yards won't stun anyone, but if the Tide offense hadn't been on cruise control for the whole second half, he would have had a jaw-dropping stat line.
Alabama Defensive Unit: A+
These are supposed to be individual player grades, but it's so hard to just pick one guy from this squad. Simply put, the Bama defense was dominance personified in this one.
The Tide were all over the field and suffocated all facets of the Bulldogs offense. Any hopes of an upset were dashed by this physical crew, and other teams should sit up and take notice. If you want to beat the Tide, you'll need a top-shelf offense and some breaks here and there.