Every week, we bring you all the important notes for the game upcoming, this time for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Tale of the Tape: Alabama holds the series lead over Mississippi State 74-18-3. Alabama is 9-1 against Mississippi State as a head coach (including his time at LSU). His only loss to the Bulldogs was in his opening season with the Tide in 2007.
Deep History: Alabama has played no team more than it has the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Alabama’s 96 meetings with Mississippi State tops its 95 meetings with Tennessee, 82 with Vandy, and 76 with both Auburn and LSU.
Alabama’s first meeting with Mississippi State was in 1893 (during the Grover Cleveland Presidency, for the history buffs out there). This is the fifth-oldest series Alabama has, as the Iron Bowl goes back to 1893, the Ole Miss series dates back to 1894 and the Georgia and LSU rivalries originate in 1895.
The Alabama-Mississippi State matchup is the second-longest consecutive games streak for the Tide, having met in 64 straight years beginning in 1948, which ties with Auburn. Alabama and Tennessee have not taken a year off since 1928, now 82 years in a row.
Party Crashers: McCarron may have record efficiency as of late, but he is facing the team to last intercept a pass of his. Cameron Lawrence picked off a McCarron attempt in the third quarter and returned it for 31 yards to set up the Bulldogs for a three-play, negative-eight yard possession that resulted in a missed field goal.
Beating the Best: Under Nick Saban, Alabama is 6-2 versus ranked teams in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide dropped the LSU (1) contest in 2011 and the Iron Bowl (Auburn, No. 2) in 2010, but beat Arkansas in 2011, Mississippi State (17), Florida (7) and Penn State (18) in 2010, and then South Carolina (22) and LSU (9) in 2009.
Win Some, Win More: Since 2008, only one team has more wins than Alabama. Boise State including its six wins this season, stands at 56 wins, while the seven wins of the 2012 season put Alabama at 55 wins in the same timeframe. Behind is TCU with 52, Oregon with 51 and LSU with 48.
Aerial Assault … of the Endzone: In the first seven games of the season, AJ McCarron has thrown 16 touchdowns, breaking the 7-game record of Brodie Croyle in 2005, when he tied the record set by his then-head coach, Mike Shula in 1985.
The Alabama Record Books, State Style: The following are highs for an Alabama player when facing the Bulldogs
Passing Yards: Jay Barker, 1994, 325 yards. Barker also set the record for completions for an Alabama player against Mississippi State in that game with 26.
Rushing Yards: Bobby Humphrey, 1986, 284 yards.
Rushing Attempts: Dennis Riddle, 1995, 38 carries.
Rushing Touchdowns: David Casteal, 1988, 4 touchdowns.
Receiving Yards: David Palmer, 1993, 171 yards.
Also, the following milestones last happened when the Tide met the Bulldogs:
Opponent Returns INT for a TD: Anthony Johnson returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown for the Bulldogs in 2007.
Two Interceptions in a Game: Robert Lester had two picks against Mississippi State in 2010.
500 Rushing Yards in a Game: Alabama ran for 514 yards against Mississippi State in 1986.
Opponent 15 Penalties or More: Mississippi State committed 15 penalties against Alabama in 2000.
Speaking of Penalties: Nick Saban’s Alabama teams have had a great reputation of not being penalized, but this year, the Tide has been penalized more than its opponents. Alabama has committed 31 penalties for 253 yards (36.1 yards per game), while Alabama’s opponents have committed 24 penalties for 207 yards (29.6 per game).