Alabama had a couple of turnovers, missed some reads in the passing game and dropped some passes, but when you look at the big picture, the production was far greater than any of the mistakes.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts finished the afternoon 28-of-37 for 347 yards and 4 touchdowns, all of which are career highs. Hurts added 100 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Hurts’ favorite target, ArDarius Stewart, caught 8 passes for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Alabama’s offense wasn’t even at full strength, as running back Bo Scarbrough and right guard Lester Cotton are dealing with injuries.
Alabama piled up 615 yards of offense and 51 points. That’s an A-type performance against anyone, and especially against a conference opponent.
Saturday marked the second straight game Alabama hasn’t allowed an offensive touchdown.
Alabama sacked Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald only twice, but the Crimson Tide was credited with 11 quarterback hurries.
Fitzgerald completed 10-of-33 passes for 145 yards and an interception. He had a passer rating of 61.2.
Alabama held Mississippi State under 300 yards of total offense. Nothing worked for the Bulldogs.
Special teams: A
Alabama kicker Adam Griffith was good on all three of his field-goal attempts, making kicks from 30, 28 and 39 yards out.
It was good to see Griffith show some consistency. He’s had an up-and-down season thus far.
Punter JK Scott averaged 51.3 yards per boot on his three punts. Scott landed one of his punts inside Mississippi State’s 20-yard line.
The plan was clear from an offensive standpoint. Alabama wanted to get Hurts some reps in the passing game. Things paid off for the most part as Hurts was efficient on the day.
Defensively, Alabama smothered Mississippi State, which was expected. Alabama coach Nick Saban said the players won’t practice on Monday to give the guys more time to rest.
There’s not much to critique when a team puts up 51 points, 600-plus yards of offense and doesn’t allow a conference opponent to reach the end zone.
Surely the coaching staff will find a few little things for teaching moments from this game after their film study. But Saturday was as dominant a performance as Alabama has had all season.
Alabama gets Chattanooga on Saturday for its Iron Bowl tune-up. That means the Crimson Tide will be 11-0 when Auburn comes to town.
Regardless of what happens in the Iron Bowl, Alabama will be in the SEC championship game after Auburn lost to Georgia. Still, Alabama is on a mission to win every game this season.