MSU and Alabama are meeting for the 99th time with the Crimson Tide holding a 77-18-3 all-time mark. Alabama leads 44-9-1 in games played in Tuscaloosa and have won the last three meetings in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Tide has won six straight in the series all by double-digits. MSU’s last win over Alabama occured on Nov. 10, 2007 by a score of 17-12 in Starkville (Alabama was ranked No. 21 in that game).
The Bulldogs have never defeated a ranked Alabama team in Tuscaloosa. This is the first time the two teams have played each other with both squads being ranked in the top five. MSU is seeking its first win at Alabama since Nov. 4, 2006 (24-16).
Mississippi State gave top-ranked Alabama a fight for the majority of their game in 2013, but stifling defense and recovery from errors ultimately gave the Crimson Tide (10-0, 7-0 SEC) a 20-7 victory over the Bulldogs (4-6, 1-5). MSU’s defense put forth one of its best performances of the year, limiting the Crimson Tide to its lowest point total of 2013. MSU was led by true freshman defensive lineman Chris Jones and sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun. Jones had a sack and a tackle for loss. Calhoun picked off Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron twice as the Bulldog defense forced four turnovers over the course of the game. Kendrick Market led all MSU tacklers with 10 stops. He
also forced a fumble. Offensively, MSU was led by senior quarterback Tyler Russell, who completed 15-of-24 passes for 144 yards, and junior tight end Malcolm Johnson, who caught six passes for 84 yards. State’s lone score of the night, early in the third quarter, came when off ensive lineman Charles Siddoway recovered a loose MSU fumble in the end zone. At the time, it trimmed Alabama’s lead to 10-7.
Several Bulldogs have ties to Alabama. MSU cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend was a four-year starter at Alabama from 1994-97, earning first-team All-SEC honors at corner in 1996. Townsend will be making a return to Bryant-Denny Stadium as a coach for the first time. MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins served on Alabama’s staff in Nick Saban’s first season of 2007. Collins was the director of player personnel before going on to UCF. In addition, first-year MSU quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson was the 2008 Sugar Bowl MVP after leading his Utah Utes to an undefeated season with a 31-17 win over No. 4 Alabama in Saban’s second season. Johnson tossed for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
A total of 15 MSU players hail from the state of Alabama, including starters: WR De’Runnya Wilson (Birmingham), LB
Beniquez Brown (Gadsden), OT Blaine Clausell (Mobile) and TE Malcolm Johnson (Tuscaloosa). Johnson prepped at Northridge High School before committing to the Bulldogs in July 2009. Wilson was the 2013 Mr. Alabama Basketball at Wenonah High School.