Happy Friday, everyone. As you know, it’s Mississippi State week. Game previews:
If this is the usual focused, energetic Crimson Tide we’re used to seeing from Nick Saban it’s just a matter of them naming their score. But there are a few small embers that keep me thinking that the Bulldogs could have some success here, particularly if they take care of the ball and plan out a good run/pass mix.
Still, like Mike Tyson once famously said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. If this were a boxing match, I’d say Bama by knockout in the fourth round.
Prediction: Alabama 42, Mississippi State 13
We’ve hit that point where I’m going to consider the Tide covering these spreads like a check that arrives in the mail with regularity. Even the absence of Waddle does not steer me off the idea that Alabama is operating at a level above the rest of the SEC. I just don’t think there’s a number against a team like Mississippi State, with all its woes, that would have me wanting to back the underdog. Pick: Alabama (-31)
Mississippi State’s defense will keep this from getting out of hand.
Alabama’s offense will be consistent enough to have no problems winning this, and the Bulldog offense won’t do enough to make this scary, but it won’t be a typical Bama wipeout.
It’ll be Bama. Show up, win, move on.
Alabama 38, Mississippi State 14
The Crimson Tide has played the best defensive team in the SEC, Georgia, and scored 32 more points than Georgia’s defense was allowing coming into the game. My guess is it will be similar to that when Alabama’s offense goes against the Bulldogs defense Saturday night.
As for the Alabama defense and Mississippi State offense, other than the LSU game, MSU’s offense has been almost non-existent, scoring just 21 points in the last three games, a seven point per game average. Alabama’s defense, on the other hand, has given up a lot of points per game (26.4 points per game) in their first five games, but when you look more in-depth at that number you realize that they have kept their opponent under their normal points per game average by an average of three points per game. I am going to give Mississippi State the benefit of the doubt and think they will beat that spread, mainly due to the game being out of hand by the middle of the third quarter and score a field goal and a late touchdown.
My prediction: Alabama 48, MSU 10.
I, too, kind of get the feeling that we are looking at kind of a slog this weekend. Saban seems less than pleased with the week of practice, and it just fells like one of those games as it often is. Still, as the Mississippi State writer mentioned in that last preview, it’s tough to sell this Mississippi State defense as the one who will limit the Tide, and their offense has been pretty sorry since the opener. I don’t expect the Tide to play all that well, but look for them to barely cover, call it 45-13.
Of course, that is merely my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.
What will be the result of Mississippi State at Alabama?
This poll is closed
Leach makes his players walk the plank, Tide covers 31
Alabama plays like sweater wearers but win by 15-30
Closer than it should be, Tide by 1-14
Mississippi State shocks the world (lol)
Nick Saban was presented a birthday cake on his radio show last night, and he seemed pleased.
The look on Saban’s face when presented with his birthday cake. pic.twitter.com/bWroJUDrwo— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) October 30, 2020
Maybe his birthday will give the players a little extra motivation tomorrow. Saban spoke at length about the safeties.
When you play corner, you may have to make five plays in the game, and those plays may be really hard to make. But at safety, you may have to make 45 plays or have an opportunity to make a play in half the plays in the game by showing up in the right place and being in the right place, run and pass.
“Just to get the eye control right, to get the right things and look at the right things has been a real challenge for us. And it’s gonna be a big thing in this week’s game because they’re gonna pass the ball a lot. They run draws, they run the ball on occasion. But if you don’t key the linemen for run-pass, you’re gonna be wrong all the time, aight. Just the discipline in eye control. Looking at your man when you’re playing man to man. Just those things in and of itself have been a real problem. But we are getting better. We are getting better as the year goes on.
“And I think that’s why points allowed have come down, aight. But every time there’s an explosive play, most of the time, the safeties are involved in it.”
Even when Alabama’s defensive line was at its strongest, the safeties were very involved in the run game. That position is the Achilles’ heel thus far. Hopefully they continue to improve.
Najee Harris knows how to score.
That’s a nice start to a Heisman campaign.
Christopher Walsh has some good stuff on the new Sports Science Center.
“When they came in and we interviewed them, there was no question that from a sports science standpoint and from a conditioning standpoint they were light-years in advance of what a lot of people have done in their programs for a long, long time, which we’ve done the same thing for a long, long time, too,” Nick Saban said. “And we’d actually brought some NFL people at the end of the season because we wondering if there was something that we could do to improve performance and injury prevention because we seemed like we’d gotten a lot of guys hurt this past season.
Saban saw a problem and yo, he solved it.
Last, in case you didn’t hear, Trevor Lawrence has the ‘Rona.
Breaking: Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Saturday’s game against Boston College, the school announced. pic.twitter.com/d0mawifH6i— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 30, 2020
They host mighty Boston College, who lost 40-14 to Virginia Tech in their last road game. I think Clemson will be just fine in that one.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.