Alabama's 28-14 win over Miss. State gives the Crimson Tide a 12-2 record in its last 14 games dating back to last season. In addition, Alabama improves to 5-1 in the SEC this season and has won seven of its last eight conference games dating back to last season.
Alabama Game Notes
The win over Miss. State gives Alabama a four-game winning streak, which equals the longest winning streak under Coach Fran.
The four-game winning streak is the longest of the 2002 season and matches the four-game winning streak to close out Fran's first season (2001) at Alabama. UA's four-game winning streak last season came against Miss. State, Auburn, Southern Miss and Iowa State. The four-game winning streak this year includes wins over Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Miss. State.
Alabama has also won four straight SEC games, its longest conference winning streak since beating LSU, Miss. State, Auburn and Florida (SEC Championship Game) during the 1999 season.
The last time Alabama won four consecutive regular season SEC games came against Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Florida and Ole Miss to open the 1999 season. UA won eight of nine SEC games and its 21st league title in 1999.
Alabama now holds a 69-15-3 series lead with Miss. State, dating back to the first meeting in 1896. The Crimson Tide has posted a 40-5 record in the last 45 meetings with MSU, including a two-game winning streak.
In games played in the state of Alabama, the Crimson Tide holds a 44-9-2 series lead. Alabama also leads 37-7-1 in games played here in Tuscaloosa. UA has won the last three games in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide is 4-1 at home this season, equaling the number of wins at Bryant-Denny Stadium over the last two seasons. The Crimson Tide was 2-3 (.400) at home last year and posted a 2-2 (.500) home record in 2000.
The Crimson Tide had 409 yards total offense today, missing its season average in home games by just 10 yards (419.6 avg).
The Alabama-Miss. State was not televised today, marking the first time since the 1995 season that an Alabama game was not broadcast on live television. The last Alabama not on live television was a 23-9 win at Ole Miss on Oct. 21, 1995.
The last time an Alabama-Miss. State was not televised was Oct. 29, 1988 when David Casteal scored four TDs in a 53-34 win at Scott Field in Starkville.
Alabama scored on its opening possession for the eighth time in 10 games this season when senior QB Tyler Watts threw a 15-yard TD pass to junior wide receiver Triandos Luke. The 15-yard TD pass capped a 12-play, 80 drive for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama has scored on its opening possession against Middle Tennessee (TD), Oklahoma (FG), North Texas (FG), Southern Miss (TD), Arkansas (TD), Ole Miss (TD) and Vanderbilt (TD). The Crimson Tide did not score on its opening possession against Georgia and Tennessee.
Alabama also scored on its opening possession in the second half, marking the sixth time this season UA has scored on the first drive of the second half. UA also scored against Oklahoma (TD), Arkansas (FG), Ole Miss (TD), Tennessee (FG), Vanderbilt (TD) and Miss. State (TD).
In 10 games this year, Alabama has scored on the opening possession in both halves against Oklahoma,. Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Miss. State.
Senior quarterback Tyler Watts surpassed the 4,000-yard total offense mark in his career. With 5:37 left in the first quarter, Watts ran seven yards to the Crimson Tide 15-yard line putting him over the 4,000 yard mark in his career. Three plays later, Watts completed a 23-yard pass to tight end Clint Johnston, giving the senior quarterback 3,000 career passing yards.
Watts completed 16-of-22 passes for 223 yards and a career high three TDs in the MSU game.
Watts three TDs surpassed his previous best was two TDs against LSU in 1999.
Watts 223 passing yards fell 13 yards short of his career high (236 yards) set in the 2002 season
opener against Miss. State
Watts also added 14 rushing attempts for 27 yards in the win over MSU
Watts was 7-of-8 passing for 98 yards and two TDs in the first quarter.
Watts was 3-of-3 passing for 56 yards and one TD on UA's second scoring drive of the game.
Against Vanderbilt (7-of-8, 68 yards) and Miss. State (7-of-8, 98 yards, 2 TDs), Watts has
completed 14-of-16 passes for 166 yards and two TDs in the first quarter of the last two games.
In his career, Wats has completed 254-of-426 (.000) for 3,156 yards and 18 TDs.
On the ground, Watts has 260 rushing attempts for 1,035 yards and eight TDs.
In his career, Watts has accounted for 4,191 yards of total offense, the 7th highest total in
school history. Against MSU, Watts surpassed Jeff Rutledge (1975-78, 3,899 total yards) and
Mike Shula (1983-86, 4,151 total yards).
For the second week in a row, junior wide receiver Triandos Luke recorded 100 receiving yards for the Crimson Tide. Against MSU, Luke had seven catches for 128 yards and a career high two TDs. Luke had nine catches for 102 yards in last week's 30-8 win at Vanderbilt.
In his last two games, Luke has 16 pass receptions for 230 yards and two TDs.
Luke is the first Alabama player to record back-to-back 100 yard receiving games since
Freddie Milons had three in a row against Arkansas, Florida and Ole Miss in 1999.
Luke can join Milons as the only receiver in UA history to post three straight 100 yards games
if he can turn the trick again next Saturday at LSU.
Prior to Milons feat in 1999, Ozzie Newsome was the last UA receiver to post back-to-back 100
yards games against Miami (4-106) and Auburn (4-123-1) in 1977.
Sophomore A-Back Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla.) scored the first touchdown of his Alabama career, hauling in a 32-yard pass from Watts to give the Crimson Tide a 14-3 lead with 1:53 left in the first quarter.
Senior cornerback Hirchel Bolden recorded his first career interception when he picked off a Kevin Fant pass at the Alabama 35-yard line with 3:05 left in the third quarter. Bolden's interception gives Alabama at least one forced turnover in 15 straight games dating back to last year.
Junior free safety Charles Jones added his second interception of the season as he picked off an MSU pass at the Alabama 39-yard line late in the fourth quarter. Jones recorded a 30-yard interception return, allowing Alabama to run out the clock and preserve its 14-point lead.
The Crimson Tide was penalized 12 times for 121 yards, twice the number of penalties and yards assessed against Miss. State. The Bulldogs were flagged only six times for 61 yards in the loss to Alabama. The penalties and yards against Miss. State were the second-most against Alabama this year. The Crimson Tide was penalized a school-record 16 times for 126 yards in the season opener against Middle Tennessee.
Alabama was 2-for-2 in the red zone today against Miss. State and is 14-for-15 in the red zone in its last four games, scoring 78 points.
Alabama scored on its first three possessions against MSU, scoring 21 points. The three UA
scoring drives totaled 28 plays and 241 yards of total offense.
Alabama's offense recorded seven first downs in its first 14 plays from scrimmage and collected
10 first downs in its first 20 plays.
Mississippi State Notes
Alabama now leads the series with MSU 68-16-3, 37-8-1 in Tuscaloosa.
The Bulldogs are 60-17-1 (.776) under Jackie Sherrill when outrushing their opponent, and now 13-45-1 (.229) when not.
MSU is 41-9 (.820) under Jackie Sherrill when scoring 25 or more points, 25-4 (.862) since 1996...
The Dogs are now just 31-53-2 (.372) during that same span when they haven't posted 25 or more points.
Since 1994, MSU is 36-7 (.837) when recording more takeaways than its opponent...The 'Dogs are now 8-28 (.222) during the same span when posting fewer takeways.
Over the last five seasons (1997-02, 68 games), MSU is now 32-12 (.727) when rushing for 100-plus yards...Conversely, the 'Dogs are just 7-17 (.292) when failing to run for 100 yards.
State is 55-13-2 (.800) under Jackie Sherrill when leading at halftime, 4-6 (.400) when tied, and now 14-43-0 (.246) when trail ing at the intermission.
Since the beginning of the 1997 season, the Bulldogs are now 15-4 (.790) when scoring on their first offensive possession of the game (TD or FG).
With his three pass receptions in the game, SE Terrell Grindle has now hauled in at least one pass in 23 consecutive games and has caught two or more passes in 17 consecutive contests.
With his four pass receptions in the game, FL Justin Jenkins has now hauled in at least one pass in 17 of his last 18 games played...The lone game he did not make a reception during that streak was at South Carolina this season when he was injured early in the game.
True freshman TB Jerious Norwood had a solid outing off the bench for the third-straight game with 58 yards on nine carries this afternoon...Norwood has rushed 33 times for 263 yards (8.0 yards-per-carry and 87.7 yards-per game averages) in State's last three outings...That includes a career-high 138 yards on 15 carries vs. Kentucky last week.
With his one TD pass in the game, QB Kevin Fant moved into sole possession of eighth place all-time at MSU with 17 pass ing TDs...He surpassed Matt Wyatt (16; 1996-99) on that list. Fant's 19 pass completions in the game moved him up to sev enth place on that list with 231, surpassing Matt Wyatt (212; 1996-99).
With his 19 yards rushing today, TB Dontae Walker moved into ninth place on MSU's career rushing chart...Now with 1,870 career rushing yards, he surpassed Don Smith (1,868; 1983-86) and Wayne Jones (1,865; 1971-73) on that list.
By hitting 2-of-2 field goal attempts today, PK Brent Smith has now connected on nine of his last 11 three-point tries since start ing the year 2-of-4.
With nine tackles in today's game LB Mario Haggan moved into ninth place on State's career stops list...Now with 342 career tackles, he surpassed Daniel Boyd (335; 1990-92) on that list.
With four receptions in the game, TE Donald Lee tied a career high for catches in a single game.
MSU's blocked punt in the fourth quarter (the first of Kevin Dockery's career) marked State's first blocked punt since last year's season opener vs. Memphis when Curtis Stowers blocked a Tiger punt and Nathan Jackson returned it for a touchdown.
OG Johnny Wadley made his first career start today...He and FB Darnell Jones, who started today for the first time this year, became the 40th and 41st different starters MSU has utilized on the offensive and defensive units this season.
Today's 28-14 score marked the largest margin of victory Alabama has had over a Jackie Sherrill-coached MSU team.