Worth another look

Mississippi State as a team is reeling right now, so no one is crowing too much about a big win. But Alabama has struggled for most of the season as well, and the program needed an easy victory as it heads into a brutal home stretch to end the season.

(Above left) Middle linebacker Freddie Roach trails the play. The return of a fully healthy Derrick Pope to the lineup has rejuvenated Bama's linebacking corps. Roach, DeMeco Ryans and Juwan Garth are all extremely talented, but Pope is the emotional leader.


The captains meet at midfield for the coin toss. David Cavan (#87, offense), DeMeco Ryans (#35, special teams) and Roman Harper (#41, defense) represented Alabama.


To say that Zach Fletcher had a big game would be an understatement. Two catches, 118 yards receiving, two touchdowns. Not a bad day's work. "You throw a one yard pass and have your receiver run 86, that really helps your stats," quarterback Brodie Croyle said with a laugh. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)


Defensive tackle Ahmad Childress fires off at the snap. For most of the game Alabama's defensive line controlled the action up front, penetrating to disrupt running plays and getting consistent pressure on the State quarterback.


Tide Head Coach Mike Shula looks on from the sideline Saturday. After resting his team during the bye week, Shula's squad responded with their most productive game of the season.


Alabama's defense swarms to the football. For the game Mississippi State gained only 24 net yards rushing. (Kent Gidley photo)


Alabama tailback Shaud Williams (#21) fends off Mississippi State cornerback Bernard Vinson (#38) on a 14-yard run in the second quarter. Williams finished the game with 89 yards on 25 carries to go over the 2,000-yard mark for his Alabama career. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)


Freddie Roach (left) and DeMeco Ryans (middle) take a break on the sideline in the fourth quarter. (That's Demarcus Waldrop behind Roach and Wallace Gilberry to the far right.) It was a dominating performance by Alabama, as the Tide defense pitched its first shutout of the season.



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