Defense Shines

The goose egg was the most important statistic in Saturday's 17-0 win over Mississippi State in Starkville Saturday night. Although the Alabama offense did not have a good day, failing to register a touchdown, Bama's defense continued its remarkable streak of keeping opponents out of the end zone. Alabama has not surrendered a touchdown since the first quarter at Ole Miss on October 15.

Alabama held Mississippi State to surprisingly low numbers. The Bulldogs had only eight first downs (and two of those were by penalty as State had two rushing and four passing) compared to Alabama's 19 (11 rushing, 6 passing, two by penalty).

State rushed 25 times for 26 yards while Alabama was picking up 182 yards on 47 rushes.

Mississippi State completed only 10 of 30 passes for only 77 yards and suffered three interceptions. Bama completed 14 of 22 passes for 116 yards and had two interceptions. One of the interceptions suffered by Mississippi State was senior defensive tackle Rudy Griffin grabbing a forced pass and taking it in for a touchdown. Simeon Castille and Juwan Simpson also had interceptions.

State had total offense of 55 plays for 103 yards, an average of 1.9 yards per play. Alabama had 69 plays for 298 yards, 4.3 yards per play.

Alabama lost one of two fumbles, while Mississippi State lost its only fumble…a biggie since it was recovered by Matt Miller on the second half kickoff and run in for a touchdown.

Alabama was penalized seven times for 66 yards and State seven times for 81 yards.

Neither team was effective on third down plays, Bama four of 14 and State four of 14. Bama was 0-1 on fourth down plays and State 0-2.

Alabama had a huge advantage in time of possession, 36:01 to 23:59.

Kenneth Darby had another 100-yard rushing game, picking up 122 yards on 21 carries. Jimmy Johns, who forced the State fumble on the second half kickoff, had 12 carries for 65 yards. Glen Coffee had five rushes for 16 yards, LéRon McClain one for one, anjd Brodie Croyle was minus 20 yards on seven plays.

Croyle hit 14 of 22 passes for 116 yards with two interceptions (his school record streak of passes without an interception ended at 190) for 116 yards.

D.J. Hall had four catches for 34 yards, Keith Brown three for 65, Darby four for nine, Zeke Knight one for four, McClain one for two, and Travis McCall one for two.

Jeremy Schatz had five punts for a 37.4 average with a long of 62.

Jamie Christensen was good on a 38-yard field goal, but missed on a 32-yard try.

Freddie Roach was the Tide's top tackler with seven primary stops and one assist. Juwan Simpson was in on six stoips and Anthony Madison on four. Charlie Peprah broke up two passes, although one of them was a dropped interception. Simeon Castille partially blocked a Mississippi State punt.

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