Staff Predictions for Alabama vs. Mississippi State
Alabama enters Week 12 after an overtime win against LSU that keeps them alive for the College Football Playoff. Unfortunately, life does not get any easier for Alabama as they go up against the #1 team in the nation, Mississippi State. Their plate will be fool as Alabama will try to contain Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs offense. Luckily, Alabama is playing at home, an environment where they seem to create hell for opposing teams.
The outcome can go any which way, lets see which way the staff thinks this game will go.
Chris Stewart (Host of "The Chris Stewart Show")
This is easily the most complete Miss. State team to come into Bryant-Denny since Jackie Sherrill was the coach in Starkville. And Dak Prescott is the best opposing quarterback Bama has faced at home since Johnny Manziel's famous appearance in 2012.
That being said, Alabama is a better overall team, and plays its best at home. The Bulldogs will have their moments, but Alabama will play another solid game at home. Alabama 34, Mississippi State 24
Ryan Fowler (Host of "The Game")
Alabama is 12-3 all-time against Mississippi State when the Bulldogs are ranked in the top 25. This season, Alabama has outscored opponents 194-33 inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Bama’s offense has scored 26 touchdowns and only given up 3 touchdowns. This will also mark the 22nd time Nick Saban has been featured on ESPN College Gameday, the Tide is 15-6 in those games. Trends and stats are a lot of fun to examine when you look at a program as rich in history as Alabama.
Let’s get down to business, Mississippi State will travel 82 miles down Hwy 82 ranked as the number 1 team in CFB. The Bulldogs will also bring the 123rd ranked pass defense in college football. That is not a good stat if you are trying to find a way for the Bulldogs to win, they won’t.
Alabama’s offense is too good inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, especially against the worst pass defense they will face all year, yes including Auburn’s pass defense. This game could get ugly, but out of respect for Mississippi State, I will go with Bama. Alabama 35, Mississippi St. 17
Ryan McMunn (Executive Producer)
Mississippi State has had trouble in the past keeping up with Alabama on the field, but this year is quite a bit different. Bulldogs' head coach Dan Mullen finally has his prototypical quarterback in Dak Prescott, and he is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy. If Alabama is Superman, then Dak Prescott is Kryptonite. He is the type of quarterback that gives Nick Saban and Kirby Smart fits (and every other coach in college football for that matter). He's a big body who can stand in the pocket and make throws, as well as a mobile threat that can take a scramble to the house. I've said this before, but if he had played in the entire game last year, I think Mississippi State would have won.
State's pass defense stats are bad (last in the SEC), but Saban has already explained why they're so skewed. However, their front seven are big, bad, and nasty. Alabama's offensive line has been inconsistent all season (injuries haven't helped matters, either), and if State finds a way to contain Tide receiver Amari Cooper, this game may not be very close. I think Cooper gets his yards, but Dak Prescott continues his magical season and the Dawgs pull the upset in Bryant-Denny. Mississippi State 41, Alabama 34
Trey Brooks (Producer)
Talk is over now. If Alabama wants to go to the College Football Playoffs, they must win this game. The Tide hasn't seen an offense like the one the Bulldogs will bring to Tuscaloosa, but Mississippi State hasn't seen a defense like Alabama's either. Something has to give on that front. State's defense is great upfront, but susceptible to the pass. That proves to be the difference. Alabama 27, Mississippi State 24
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Mississippi State has a Coach of the Year candidate, a Heisman frontrunner and a national title contender. All of that, however, will take a huge blow on Saturday.
Alabama has been nearly flawless at home this season, beating opponents by an average of 40.25 points per game, which includes routs against Florida and Texas A&M. Dak Prescott will lead the Bulldogs to a few scores, but their 12th-ranked SEC defense will have a hard time holding up their end of the bargain. Alabama 41, Mississippi State 20
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
Had Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott played in last year’s matchup, I think everyone would have been approaching this game much differently. Despite the Bulldogs being ranked #1 for much of the season, Alabama is still an 8-point favorite. Historically, that’s not a surprise, but this game was tighter than most expected a year ago and Prescott missed the game with an injury. He’s back, healthy, and one of the biggest stories in college football this year. State can play and will battle for 60 minutes on Saturday night, but a passing defense that ranks 123rd out of 128 FBS teams will have trouble with the Blake Sims to Amari Cooper connection. Alabama 38, Mississippi State 31