A game that was hard for Alabama fans to watch, but a game the team needed. The Crimson Tide escaped the cowbells and running attack of Mississippi State with a victory in a nail bitter.

Jalen Hurts hit freshman receiver DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown with 25 seconds in the game to give Alabama a 31-24 lead and the victory over the Bulldogs.

Here are three takeaways from the close game in Starkville:

Jalen has proved he is more than just a runner, he's a playmaker

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The game I wanted to see from Jalen Hurts is the game he delivered in Starkville. Hurts was completed 10 passes for 242 yards and 40 yards rushing. He did a much better job in this game getting outside the pocket and instead of taking off with the football with the pocket collapsing he kept his eyes down field and got it to his receivers. On 3rd and 15 with the game on the line, Hurts completed a pass to Calvin Ridley for 31-yards that set up the game-winning touchdown to Smith. Hurts stayed calm, cool and collected throughout the game and proved he could win a national championship with this team. He can make things happen with his feet or with his arm. A few more games and another offseason with Brian Daboll, the sky is the limit for how good Jalen could actually be.

Missing LBs could hurt the Crimson Tide more than we think

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This Mississippi State team were a few plays away from winning this football game, and a lot of that was running the ball with Aeris Williams and quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Alabama is missing a lot of depth not only with the linebackers, but the defensive line struggled throughout the game as well. Lucky for the Crimson Tide Rashaan Evans and Raekwon Davis had a solid game and the Alabama secondary avoided big plays down field. Missed tackles and Fitzgerald blowing past one of the best defense in the country showed me that maybe these LBs should use this Mercer games for more in-game reps and get them ready for Auburn, who has a star running back and a quarterback that could throw the ball downfield if you allow him to do so.

Offensive lineman needs to improve, especially with Ross out

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There is a reason why Jalen runs for his life, the Alabama offensive line needs to improve. It doesn't get better for the line as Ross Pierschbacher will miss 2-4 weeks with a ankle injury. The OL pass blocking has struggled throughout the season and outside of a big run by Damien Harris, they've struggled on run block these last two weeks. needs to get better before they play a tough Auburn defensive line in the Iron Bowl.