Facing their third ranked SEC enemy in the critical month, the Alabama Crimson tide rolled end the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville, 31-6, and also are currently one win away from reaching the SEC Championship Game. 

As has been the case since the team"s loss against the Mississippi Rebels, the combination of running earlier Derrick Henry and also a smothering defense carried the Crimson birds to victory Saturday.

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Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott to be under pressure all day, going 22-of-43 because that 300 yards with 14 rushing yards on 26 carries in the defeat. Gil Brandt that NFL.com provided the an elderly star was sacked 6 times in the very first half. Coming right into the game, the Bulldogs had enabled only 13 sacks all year. 

Henry obtained off to a slow-moving start, and it appeared as though he to be going come be held in examine after moving to the top of this year"s Heisman Trophy race. That turned out the small star just needed time to gain the engines going, as he perfect with 204 yards and two touchdowns top top 22 carries. 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Henry now ranks second in school history with three 200-yard rushing games.

Henry"s rushing touchdown extended a streak that moved him past Tim Tebow in the SEC document books, every ESPN Stats & Info:


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ESPN Stats & information
ESPNStatsInfoDerrick Henry has rushed because that a TD in school-record 15 directly games, most by an SEC player in critical 10 years (one much more than Tim Tebow)

This to be a video game of big plays because that Alabama. Henry"s 2 rushing touchdowns covered a complete of 139 yards, because that instance.

Peter Burns of the SEC Network joked top top Twitter about the phone contact Henry will certainly be making to the Downtown Athletic club in new York ~ the huge back score his second touchdown that the game:

Peter Burns

“Yes, I’d favor to book a room, what close come Downtown strong Club, yes…I can need a porter to assist me w/ mine luggage” Derrick Henry

The Crimson Tide"s 4 touchdowns came on dram of at least 60 yards. Cyrus Jones opened the scoring with a 69-yard punt return early in the 2nd quarter, continuing a tendency that has gone on all year, every ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & information

Alabama's punting return TD was their sixth non-offensive TD this season. The Tide had actually 1 together TD last year.

A beautifully enforcement play contact followed Jones" score two minutes later, v Calvin Ridley capturing a pass from quarterback Jake Coker and also sprinting come the finish zone for a 60-yard TD, as the highlight from CBS sporting activities showed:

CBS sporting activities

HOW walk he execute that?! The
AlabamaFTBL offense acquired a jolt v the slick move in this
BestBuy highlight. Https://t.co/pIFHCR3lpO

That play was indicative of how well things room going for Alabama as well as head coach Nick Saban"s capability to develop talent transparent the season.

Earlier this year, it showed up as though the Crimson tide were walk to it is in in because that a bad season by their lofty standards. Mississippi went into Tuscaloosa top top Sept. 19, put up 43 point out in a win and left a most questions about where Alabama stood walking forward. 

Two weeks ~ that, oddsmakers make Alabama one underdog heading right into a showdown against Georgia because that the first time because the 2009 SEC Championship Game, follow to Michael Casagrande the AL.com.

Since shedding to Ole Miss, Alabama has actually won seven straight games and outscored its opponents 220-83. In various other words, Saban"s Crimson birds resemble critical year"s new England Patriots, who acquired off to a 2-2 start before turning on the jet to success the at sight Bowl. 

This win was an especially impressive for Alabama, considering it was coming off last week"s emotionally triumph over LSU. Saban talked around the emotions leading as much as Saturday"s game, per Josh Planos the the Washington Post.

“Any time you have actually an emotionally win, you have to get your team all set to answers the right way and make certain they’re focused on what they should do,” Saban said. Everything he said throughout the week paid off in grand fashion.

Saban"s defense appeared to focus every one of its fist on Prescott. Special, it minimal his rushing lanes. 

Prescott and also Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen to be arguably as well reliant on Prescott, as Cecil ache of the Tuscaloosa News illustrated with this stat:

Cecil ache

Dak Prescott has rushed 21 times and thrown 29 overcome in the first half. That's 50 that MSU's 57 plays.

Normally, keeping the sphere in the hand of your best playmaker is a great strategy. But Prescott didn"t have any openings to create plays through his legs and also was regularly put on his back after dropping earlier to pass. The Bulldogs did him no favors abandoning the to run game. 

It wasn"t a spotless win for Alabama, as backup running back Kenyan Drake endured an eight injury in the an initial half. Saban stated after the video game that Drake"s eight is fractured, and he will certainly be the end for 3 weeks, per Hurt.

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The university football human being had its opportunity to take under Alabama previously this season, with one team succeeding. Currently that Saban has discovered a formula that works on offense and a protective line the hasn"t given an customs to Prescott and also Leonard Fournette in continually weeks, the Crimson birds look like the finest team in the nation.

Postgame Reaction

Per Alex Martin smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Saban was his usual chipper, optimistic self after ~ the victory:

Alex Martin smith

FINAL from Starkville: (No. 2) Alabama 31, (No. 17) Mississippi State 6. Saban: "We didn't pat our finest game the the year."

While Saban might be right around that, especially considering Coker had just 144 happen yards, it would be difficult to pick a much more complete video game the Crimson Tide have actually played this year. 

On the hopeful side, per Martin, Saban did to speak he only necessary to use the front four to produce pressure top top Prescott because that unit is "the strength of ours team." That"s to be made apparent in the last two games, if that wasn"t noticeable before. 

Expanding on the point, per Nick Cole of SaturdayDownSouth.com, Saban spoke about the depth of his defensive line. 

"There room eight or nine of them the are large and physical, therefore we deserve to keep them going v something in the tank," Saban said. "… Whether us play a running team favor LSU or a pass team, we have enough diversity increase front so the we can adapt.”

The video game really readjusted in the very first quarter once Mississippi State was stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Alabama gained the momentum from that point and didn"t take its foot turn off the gas pedal till the end. 

On a lighthearted note, Saban came out that the locker room at halftime through a reduced on his face, the origin of i beg your pardon he defined after the game, every Cole. 

“Jonathan Allen come barrelling in all excited," Saban said. "… The athlete that i am, i was able to store my feet. The players were a little concerned, they recognize they don’t do ’em favor they supplied to.”