Smith catches 4 TDs, No. 2 Alabama throttles Miss. State
In a battle of the SEC’s top-ranked offense and top-ranked defense, both Alabama units were too much for Mississippi State in the No. 2 Crimson Tide’s 41-0 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Mississippi State allowed 499 yards of total offense to the SEC’s leading offense, after the Bulldogs came in surrendering an average of 295.5 per game to lead the conference. Alabama (6-0) was held under its yards-per-game average but had a 27-0 lead by halftime and cruised the rest of the way.
Quarterback Mac Jones completed 24 of 31 passes for 291 yards, including four touchdown passes — all to senior wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Running back Najee Harris gained 119 yards on 21 carries.
Smith was too difficult a mark for the Mississippi State secondary, exploding for 11 catches for 203 yards.
Smith caught scoring passes of 53 yards and 35 yards in the first quarter as Alabama ran the ball to set up the deep ball to perfection. Another Jones-to-Smith touchdown pass and a pair of Will Reichard field goals gave the Crimson Tide a big lead at the break.
The Bulldogs (1-4) lost their fourth straight game, and lost quarterback K.J. Costello early in the second quarter to an apparent head injury. Costello was replaced by Will Rogers, who completed 24 of 37 passes for 147 yards and two interceptions.
Alabama forced nine straight punts on defense and also forced a fumble in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs lost running back Jo’quavious Marks to injury on the play. Marks was slammed to the ground violently but was able to walk off the field.
The Tide’s streak of 18 games with 35 points or more was in jeopardy late in the game, but Patrick Surtain intercepted a Rogers pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama 41 points. Alabama has 13 consecutive wins over the Bulldogs.
The Crimson Tide have defeated 95 consecutive unranked teams under head coach Nick Saban, the longest streak in FBS history. Alabama is also 49-2 in October games with Saban at the helm.
–Field Level Media