Notes From Bama's Win Over State

Alabama has played more games against Mississippi State than against any other team, and it has been very, very good for the Crimson Tide. Saturday's 31-3 Bama win over the Bulldogs gives Alabama a 73-18-3 lead in the series.

Alabama has put together back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since the 1991 and 1992 seasons. It marks the first time since 1973-74 that Alabama has started the season 10-0. Alabama, which finished 12-2 in 2008, had a 12-0 start, followed by 10 consecutive wins to open this season. In both 1973 and 1974 the Tide opened with 11-win seasons and ended up 11-1 after losing consecutive bowl games to Notre Dame, in the Sugar and Orange.

The Crimson Tide has achieved the 10-win plateau for the 30th time. Alabama is second in 10-win seasons to Oklahoma, which had 31 going into this season.

This marks the first time in the college head coaching career of Nick Saban that he has had consecutive 10-win seasons.

Mississippi State warmed up in its familiar maroon jerseys, but changed to black before coming out to start the game against Alabama. Didn't Georgia do that last season in a 41-30 beatdown by Bama (that wasn't as close as the final score)?

Mark Ingram had the longest run of his Alabama career, a 70-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter. His 149 yards rushing against Mississippi State moved him up to sixth in Crimson Tide single season rushing at 1,297. He leads the SEC in rushing.

When Greg McElroy passed to Darius Hanks for a touchdown in the second quarter at Mississippi State Saturday night, it marked the first offensive touchdown for Bama in Starkville since Tim Castille scored on a six-yard run in 2003. It was Hanks' longest touchdown reception at Alabama. His previous long touchdown reception was a 35-yarder in the season-opening game against Virginia Tech.

This was the second consecutive game for McElroy and Julio Jones to hook up on a long touchdown pass. A week ago against LSU, Jones took a short pass from McElroy and turned it into a 73-yard score. Against State the pair combined on a 48-yard touchdown.

Mark Barron, the Southeastern Conference leader in pass interceptions, turned in a pair of thefts against Mississippi State. He has six for the season. Marquis Johnson also had an interception for Bama. There were no other turnovers in the game.

Alabama, the SEC sack leader, recorded two sacks against the Bulldogs. Bama now has 28 on the season, two more than in all of 2008.

Leigh Tiffin extended his Alabama scoring record to 354 points as he kicked one field goal and four extra points. He now has 77 field goals, one behind the Alabama record of Philip Doyle (1987-90). He is tied with Doyle for second on the single season field goals record list with 24. Tiffin has the record of 25 (set last year in 34 attempts). Tiffin is 24-27 this year. Tiffin now has 101 points this year and ranks first (111 in 2007), second (106 last year) and third (this season's 101) all-time for Bama.

Official attendance at the game was 58,103, a new record for Davis-Wade Stadium. Earlier this year Alabama played before 62,657 at Ole Miss, also a new record.

The second half kickoff was returned by Javier Arenas, who was tackled by Patrick Hanrahan. Hanrahan, the son of former Alabama lineman Gary Hanrahan, had formerly been a walk-on fullback at Bama. He transferred to Mississippi State a couple of years ago and is listed as a junior running back for the Bulldogs.

Alabama captains were linebacker Rolando McClain, linebacker Cory Reamer, wide receiver Julio Jones, and offensive guard Mike Johnson.

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