Comparing Alabama, Dogs Statistically

As was proved last week, it's not about the statistics. Alabama had the better of it statistically going into the game with LSU, but in overtime the Tigers prevailed by 9-6.

This week, Alabama goes to Mississippi State and again the Crimson Tide looks better statistically going into the game. And, of course, last week LSU was ranked as the number one team in the nation. The Bulldogs of Starkville are not ranked.

Bama, ranked second in the nation, is 8-1 overall and 5-1 in Southeastern Conference games. Mississippi State is 5-4 overall and 1-4 in league games. Kickoff Saturday in Starkville will be at 6:45 p.m. CST with national television coverage by ESPN.

Alabama is dominating national statistics on defense in what may be an unprecedented manner. The Crimson Tide leads the nation in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense, and passing defense, and also in pass efficiency defense.

Alabama has fallen down a bit in the SEC in scoring offense, rushing offense, passing offense, and total offense, but still ranks ahead of Mississippi State in those categories.

Alabama now ranks third in the SEC in scoring at 35.7 points per game and the Crimson Tide is first in scoring defense allowing 7.1 points per game. Mississippi State is sixth in scoring (27.9) and third in scoring defense (18.7).

In rushing, Bama is first, picking up 214.4 points per game, and is first in defense against the run, permitting 56.3. The Bulldogs are fourth in rushing, 187 yards per game, and eighth in rushing defense, allowing 161.2.

Alabama has only a slight lead on MSU in passing offense. The Tide picks up 225.1 yards per game, fourth in the SEC, and Mississippi State is fifth in the league, 213.2 yards per game. Bama's league-leading pass defense allows 130.7 yards per game. The Bulldogs are sixth at 188.1

In passing efficiency, Bama is fourth and State fifth, and in pass defense efficiency, the Tide is first, the Bulldogs seventh.

Alabama is second in total offense, 439.6 yards per game, and first in total defense, permitting just 187 yards per game. Mississippi State is fourth in offense, 400.2 yards per game, and eighth in total defense, allowing 349.3.

On third downs, Alabama is best in the league on both offense and defense. The Tide has converted 59-119 opportunities, 49.6 per cent, and holds opponents to 26.5 per cent success, 35-132. State is fifth in converting third downs, 55-128 for 43 per cent, and eighth in preventing third downs, 58-148 for 39.2 per cent.

In the important category of turnover margin, Alabama is third at plus 6 and Mississippi State is tied for fifth at plus 2. Bama has five fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions, 16 takeaways, and has lost three fumbles and seven interceptions, 10 turnovers. State has identical takeaways, five fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions, 16 total, but has lost four fumbles and had 10 passes intercepted, 14 turnovers.

In the Red Zone, Mississippi State is slightly better on offense and Alabama is slightly better on defense. On offense, State ranks fifth and has scored on 86.7 per cent of its opportunities, 17 touchdowns and 9-10 field goals for 26 scores in 30 trips inside the 20. Bama is tied for sixth and has scored 24 touchdowns and made 12-14 field goals for 36 scores in 42 trips for 85.7 per cent.

In Red Zone defense, Alabama ranks second, allowing 75 per cent on 9-12 scores (five touchdowns, 4-5 field goals). Mississippi State is third at 76.7 per cent, allowing 23 scores (13 touchdowns, 10-11 field goals) on 30 opportunities.

The teams are close in penalties, Bama second in the league with 33 penalties for 309 yards, the Bulldogs third with 48 penalties for 362 yards.

Alabama is third in time of possession, 32:25 per game. State is last, 26:26.

Even after a tough game against LSU, Trent Richardson continues to lead the SEC in rushing (119.8 yards per game), scoring (12 points per game), touchdowns (18), and all-purpose yards (159.6).

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