Alabama Crimson Tide downs Mississippi State in defensive slugfest


Just a little sarcasm from the former Florida State quarterback.

Unfortunately, there was never really a chance of a comeback or upset once Alabama went up 21-0 late in the second quarter. The standout defensive tackle, who has been compared to corralling a bar of soap, slipped his way into the Mississippi State backfield all afternoon, often to the misfortune of Nick Fitzgerald.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State was able to frustrate Alabama's high-flying offense, getting to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa four times. The constant pressure flustered the Heisman contender as he recorded his first multi-turnover game of the season.

Following the game, Saban said Tagovailoa took several low hits but would have been able to return if needed. Shortly after entering the tent, Tagovailoa got on a stationary bike on the sidelines as backup quarterback Mac Jones entered the game. The sophomore shook off an early interception in the first half - his first of the season - to help the Tide capture a division crown and a spot in the SEC title game.

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Even during one of his most pedestrian showings of the season, Tagovailoa completed 14 of 21 passes for 164 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown to running back Josh Jacobs. He also lost a fumble on a botched exchange with Damien Harris.

Jacobs ran for 97 yards on 20 carries as Alabama.

Alabama: Didn't have a play longer than 25 yards on offense. This week, Tagovailoa faces a Mississippi State team that ranks tops in the SEC in total defense. The mark was initially set from 1971-74 at Legion Field and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama hosts The Citadel in what should amount to a break before the Auburn game. Following that game, the Crimson Tide will conclude its regular season at home with the Iron Bowl against Auburn on November 24.