Alabama vs Mississippi State: A Historical Retrospective

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While the ranks of teams wanting to ruin Alabama's aspirations to greatness have never been wanting for members, it is the Mississippi State Bulldogs who can likely claim the greatest success at decorating the Crimson Tide's punchbowl in their own distinctive manner.

The crown jewel of the team's legacy for thwarting Alabama's hopes is the 1980 contest on All Saints Day at Veteran's Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi. Emory Bellard's Bulldog squad downed the Paul W. Bryant's No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide team 6-3 and brought to an end one of the most dominating runs in the history of the Alabama program.

The Crimson Tide's powerful wishbone running game only eked out 116 yards against the Bulldogs, a staggering figure given it was averaging better than 300 yards a game to that point. Alabama could only muster 64 yards in the air to make up the difference.

Neither team managed to find the opposing end zone. Alabama's kicker Peter Kim nailed a 49-yarder in the second quarter to give the Tide their only score of the day. The Bulldogs' Dana Moore hit  two in the second half, one from 37 yards out and the other from the 22, to put State ahead. Alabama's four lost fumbles made the difference and none more than the last.

Alabama Quarterback Don Jacobs led the tide on a furious 44-yard drive in the game's closing minutes. With the ball on the Mississippi State four yard line and just 25 seconds left in the game, Jacobs was nailed in the backfield by Bulldog defender Tyrone Keys and fumbled the ball. State's Billy Jackson recovered and one of the greatest eras of Alabama football came to an ignominious end.

Following the game, Coach Bryant visited the Mississippi State locker room and congratulated the Bulldogs on their victory and a cottage industry printing "I was there when we beat the Bear" bumper stickers was born.

Until that game, Alabama had gone 28 straight games without a defeat, claiming two conference championships and two national championships over the span. The Tide had been ranked the No. 1 team in the country for seven weeks and was riding an 8-0 streak most felt was leading them to a third straight national championship.

(The 28-game win streak was matched between 1991 and 1993 as well. A 17-17 tie with Tennessee on Oct. 16, 1993 in Birmingham brought that run to an end.)

The 1980 game also brought Alabama's longest winning streak against a single team to a close. Prior to the 1980 contest, the Crimson Tide had bested the Bulldogs in 22-straight games. It also marked the first time a Mississippi State team had beaten a Bryant-coached squad as their previous win had been in 1957, the year before his arrival in Tuscaloosa.

The Crimson Tide's 27-game run of victories against SEC opponents was ended that day as well. Between the Third Saturday in October of 1976 (20-13) and 1980 (27-0), Alabama had not lost a single conference game. Another winning streak denied was a run of 17 away games that had stretched from Sept. 24, 1977 (Vanderbilt, 24-12) to Oct. 18, 1980 (Tennessee, 27-0) the Tide had been undefeated in away games.

In the wake of the loss to State, Alabama fell to No. 6 in the polls and would not regain the No. 1 ranking for 28 years. That run was ended when the Tide was took the top place in the polls on Oct. 27, 2008.

Still, the Bulldogs have helped the Tide bring a few unwanted streaks to an end as well. In 1956, a 13-12 victory over Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa brought Alabama's longest losing streak to a end. The Crimson Tide had lost a stomach-turning 20 straight games under the hapless J.B. Whitworth until Wade Walker's squad came to town. The win also brought to a close the longest string of home losses by the Tide - seven.

Alabama vs Mississippi State Historical Record

Season W/L Score Date Location Game Info/Rank
1896 W 20-0 Nov. 14 Tuscaloosa, AL First Conference Victory
1901 W 45-0 Nov. 16 Tuscaloosa, AL
1902 W 27-0 Nov. 8 Tuscaloosa, AL
1903 L 0-11 Oct. 16 Columbus, MS
1904 W 6-0 Oct. 15 Columbus, MS
1905 W 34-0 Oct. 14 Tuscaloosa, AL
1906 W 16-4 Nov. 3 Starkville, MS
1911 T 6-6 Oct. 21 Columbus, MS
1912 L 0-7 Oct. 18 Aberdeen, MS
1913 L 0-7 Nov. 27 Birmingham, AL
1914 L 0-9 Nov. 26 Birmingham, AL
1919 W 14-6 Nov. 27 Birmingham, AL
1920 W 24-7 Nov. 25 Birmingham, AL
1921 T 7-7 Nov. 24 Birmingham, AL
1922† W 59-0 Nov. 30 Birmingham, AL
1925‡† W 6-0 Oct. 31 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1926‡† W 26-7 Oct. 26 Meridian, MS
1927 W 13-7 Oct. 29 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1928 W 46-0 Oct. 13 Starkville, MS
1931 W 53-0 Oct. 10 Meridian, MS
1932 W 53-0 Oct. 1 Montgomery, AL
1933† W 18-0 Oct. 14 Tuscaloosa, AL
1934‡ W 41-0 Oct. 13 Tuscaloosa, AL
1935 L 7-20 Oct. 12 Tuscaloosa, AL
1936 W 7-0 Oct. 10 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1939 W 7-0 Oct. 28 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama (20)
1940 L 0-13 Nov. 30 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama(17) Miss St(11)
1941‡ L 0-14 Oct. 4 Tuscaloosa, AL
1942 W 21-6 Oct. 31 Tuscaloosa, AL
1944 W 19-0 Nov. 18 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Miss St (16)
1945† W 55-13 Dec. 1 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama (3)
1946 W 24-7 Nov. 30 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Miss St (19)
1948 W 10-7 Oct. 23 Starkville, MS
1949 W 35-6 Oct. 22 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1950 W 14-7 Oct. 28 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1951 W 7-0 Oct. 27 Starkville, MS
1952 W 42-19 Oct. 25 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1953† T 7-7 Oct. 24 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1954 L 7-12 Oct. 23 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1955 L 7-26 Oct. 22 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1956 W 13-12 Oct. 27 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1957 L 13-25 Oct. 26 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1958 W 9-7 Oct. 25 Starkville, MS Miss St (19)
1959 W 10-0 Oct. 31 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1960 W 7-0 Oct. 29 Starkville, MS
1961‡† W 24-0 Nov. 4 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama (4)
1962 W 20-0 Nov. 3 Starkville, MS Alabama (2)
1963 W 20-19 Nov. 2 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama (7)
1964‡† W 23-6 Oct. 31 Jackson, MS Alabama (3)
1965‡† W 10-7 Oct. 30 Jackson, MS Alabama (10)
1966† W 27-14 Oct. 29 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (4)
1967 W 13-0 Nov. 4 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1968 W 20-13 Nov. 2 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1969 W 23-19 Nov. 1 Jackson, MS
1970 W 35-6 Oct. 31 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1971† W 41-10 Oct. 30 Jackson, MS Alabama (4)
1972† W 58-14 Nov. 4 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (2)
1973‡† W 35-0 Nov. 3 Jackson, MS Alabama (2)
1974† W 35-0 Nov. 2 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming Alabama (4) Miss St (17)
1975† W 21-10 Nov. 1 Jackson, MS Alabama (6)
1976 W 34-17 Oct. 30 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama(17) Miss St(18)
1977† W 37-7 Oct. 29 Jackson, MS Alabama (2)
1978‡† W 35-14 Nov. 4 Birmingham, AL Alabama (3)
1979‡† W 24-7 Nov. 3 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (1)
1980 L 3-6 Nov. 1 Jackson, MS Alabama (1)
1981† W 13-10 Oct. 31 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (8) Miss St (7)
1982 W 20-12 Oct. 30 Jackson, MS Alabama (9)
1983 W 35-18 Oct. 29 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (18)
1984 W 24-10 Nov. 3 Jackson, MS
1985 W 44-28 Nov. 2 Tuscaloosa, AL Homecoming
1986 W 38-3 Nov. 1 Starkville, MS Alabama (8) Miss St (19)
1987 W 21-18 Oct. 31 Birmingham, AL Alabama (16)
1988 W 53-34 Oct. 29 Starkville, MS Alabama (19)
1989† W 23-10 Nov. 4 Birmingham, AL Alabama (4)
1990 W 22-0 Nov. 3 Starkville, MS
1991 W 13-7 Nov. 2 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (7)
1992‡† W 30-21 Nov. 14 Starkville, MS Alabama (2) Miss St (16)
1993 W 36-25 Nov. 13 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (12)
Forfeited by the NCAA
1994 W 29-25 Nov. 12 Starkville, MS Alabama (6) Miss St (20)
1995 W 14-9 Nov. 11 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (16)
1996 L 16-17 Nov. 16 Starkville, MS Alabama (8)
1997 L 20-32 Nov. 15 Tuscaloosa, AL Miss St (17)
1998 L 14-26 Nov. 14 Starkville, MS
1999† W 19-7 Nov. 13 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (11) Miss St (8)
2000 L 7-29 Nov. 11 Starkville, MS Miss St (15)
2001 W 24-17 Nov. 10 Tuscaloosa, AL
2002 W 28-14 Nov. 9 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (11)
2003 W 38-0 Nov. 8 Starkville, MS
2004 W 30-14 Nov. 6 Tuscaloosa, AL
2005 W 17-0 Nov. 5 Starkville, MS Alabama (4)
Vacated by the NCAA
2006 L 16-24 Nov. 4 Tuscaloosa, AL
2007 L 12-17 Nov. 10 Starkville, MS Alabama (21)
2008 W 32-7 Nov. 15 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama (1)
2009‡† W 31-3 Nov. 14 Starkville, MS Alabama (3)

‡ National Champion, † SEC Champion

Source: The University of Alabama 2010 Football Media Guide

 

Alabama vs Mississippi State Record Book

Record Alabama Miss State
Most Points 59 (1922) 34 (1988)
Fewest Points 0 (6 times) 0 (26 times)
Most 1st Down 29 (1986) 27 (1985)
Fewest 1st Down 8 (1958) 3 (1967)
Most Yards Rush 514 (1986) 31 (2000)
Fewest Yards Rush 347 (1997) -16(1978)
Most Yards Pass 325 (1994) 456 (1978)
Fewest Yards Pass 40 (1975) 17 (1986)
Most Total Plays 85 (1972) 82 (1985)
Fewest Total Plays 51 (1960) 41 (1995)
Most Yds Tot Off 503 (1988) 538 (2000)
Fewest Yds Tot Off 180 (1980) 103 (2005)
Most Yards Rush 284
(Bobby Humphrey, 86)
237
(JJ Johnson, 86)
Most Yards Pass 256
(Andrew Zow, 1998)
429
(Dave Marler, 1978)
Most Receptions 10
(DJ Hall, 2006)
10
(2 times)
Most Yards Rec 171
(David Palmer, 93)
168
(Mardye McDole, 78)

Source: The University of Alabama Football Record Book

 

Mississippi State & The Alabama Record Book

Record Place Year Statistic Holder
Rush 1st Downs 1st  1986 28 team
Yard per Rush (min 30) 1st 1986 9.5 (30 att, 284 yd, 3 td) Bobby Humphrey
Most Punt Returns 1st (tie) 1967 10 team
Fumbles Lost 1st (tie) 1981 7 (of 11) team
Fewest Pass Yd QB Debut 1st (tie) 1993 0 David Palmer
Most Punts 1st (tie) 2008 9 Blake McAdams
Blocked Kicks 1st (tie) 1973 2 (2 FG) Mike Washington
QB Rush Yards 2nd 1979 190 (20 att, 1 td) Steadman Shealy
Most Punt Return Yards 2nd 2008 147 yards Javier Arenas
Longest Punts 2nd 1971 85 yards Greg Gantt
Most All-Purpose Yards 2nd 1986 300 (284 rush, 16 rec) Bobby Humphrey
Rush Yards 2nd 1986 284 (30 att) Bobby Humphrey
Best Punting Avg 2nd (tie) 1971 52.8 (5 punt, 164 yd) Greg Gantt
Most Consec Rush 3rd 1995 12 Dennis Riddle
Most Field Goals 3rd (tie) 2007 4 Leigh Tiffin
Most Points 3rd (tie) 1988 24 (4 td) David Casteal
Rush Attempts 3rd (tie) 1995 38 (181 yd) Dennis Riddle
Rush TD 3rd (tie) 1988 4 David Casteal
Yard per Rush (min 20) 4th 1979 9.5 (20 att, 188 yd, 1 td) Steadman Shealy
Longest Scoring Pass Play 4th 2003 87 yards Brodie Croyle to Zach Fletcher
Most Consec Compl 4th 1994 11 Jay Barker
Total TDs 4th (tie) 1988 4 (4 rush) David Casteal
Most TD Passes 4th (tie) 1966 3 Wayne Trimble
Most TD Passes 4th (tie) 2002 3 Tyler Watts
Most Tackles 4th (tie) 2000 19 Marcus Spencer
Yard per Rush (min 10) 4th (tie) 1978 12.1 (12 att, 145 yd, 1 td) Tony Nathan
Most All-Purpose Yards 5th 1985 288 (168 rush, 120 rec) Gene Jelks
Most Reciving Yards 5th 1993 171 (8 catch) David Palmer
Most Consec Rush 5th (tie) 1989 9 Siran Stacy
Longest Int Return 6th (tie) 1944 87 yards Fred Grant
Most Pass Compl 7th 1994 26 (35 att, 325 yd) Jay Barker
Highest Scoring Game 7th (tie) 1988 87 (Bama 53, Miss S 34)
Most Receptions 8th (tie) 2006 10 (125 yd) DJ Hall
Yard per Rush (min 5) 9th 1977 16.4 (7 att, 115 yd, 1 td) Tony Nathan
Longest TD Rush 10th (tie) 1987 83 yards Bobby Humphrey
Longest Field Goals 11th (tie) 1985 51 yards Van Tiffin
Longest Field Goals 11th (tie) 2007 51 yards Leigh Tiffin
Most Receptions 12th (tie) 1991 9 (94 yd) Freddie Milons
Longest TD Rush 13th 1977 82 yards Tony Nathan
Longest TD Rush 15th 1936 81 yards Joe Kilgrow
Longest Field Goals 16th (tie) 2007 50 yards Leigh Tiffin

Source: The University of Alabama Football Record Book

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