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MTSU-Bama to air on SEC Network

MTSU-Bama to air on SEC Network

Posted on 18 June 2015 by Allen

Bama1

Middle Tennessee’s non-conference football game at Alabama, Sept. 12, will be televised on the SEC Network with a 4 p.m. kickoff, as announced on the SEC Network Thursday.

Nine of the Blue Raiders’ 12 games are currently slated for television with the non-conference game at Illinois also expected to be aired.

Middle Tennessee also has four games scheduled to be televised on FoxSports, three on American Sports Network (ASN) and one on CBS SN.

All seats for the game in Tuscaloosa are $55. Tickets will be sold to the general public beginning Monday (June 22) through Wednesday, July 1. After July 1, tickets to the game will not be available through the Blue Raider Ticket Office.

The Raiders will likely be a pretty big underdog in Tuscaloosa but it should be a fun game.

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Kendell Jones picks Bama

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Kendell Jones picks Bama

Posted on 27 May 2015 by Allen

Bama1

The Crimson Tide picked up a big recruit last week when Kendall Jones verbally committed to Alabama. A local sportswriter captured the commitment on video and tweeted it out.

Jones is ranked by Rivals as the #10 defensive tackle in the county. The four star prospect from Killeen, Texas had also received offers and had LSU, Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M in his top five before his annoucement. At 6’5 340 lbs. Jones earned the name “Hulk” and lives up to it on the field. At the Nike Opening Regional Dallas in March Jones turned heads after dominating everyone he lined up against. The following month he visited Tuscaloosa for the A-Day game and was very impressed.

Jones will play out his senior year if all goes as planned, sign his NLI in February to make things official.

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Alabama has Four Players Selected on the Final Day of NFL Draft

Alabama has Four Players Selected on the Final Day of NFL Draft

Posted on 03 May 2015 by Allen

Bama1

Four University of Alabama players were selected on the final day of the 2015 National Football League Draft Saturday at the Auditorium Theater.

Fullback Jalston Fowler was taken with the ninth pick of the fourth round (No. 108 overall) by the Tennessee Titans. Offensive guard Arie Kouandjio came off the board four picks later at No. 112 overall to the Washington Redskins.

Offensive tackle Austin Shepherd and outside linebacker Xzavier Dickson were taken in the seventh round with Shepherd going to the Minnesota Vikings with the 11 pick of the round (No. 228 overall) and Dickson going to the New England Patriots with pick No. 36 (No. 253 overall).

Alabama had seven players total selected in the 2015 NFL Draft with Amari Cooper going to the Oakland Raiders at No. 4 overall, followed by Landon Collins with the first pick of the second round to the New York Giants and T.J. Yeldon with pick No. 36 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the last seven NFL Drafts, Alabama has had 48 players selected, including 17 in the first round.

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Alabama Beats Georgia Sunday

Alabama Beats Georgia Sunday

Posted on 12 April 2015 by Allen

Bama1

Alabama defeated Georgia 5-2 Sunday to take an SEC series in front of a crowd of 3,303 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Alabama (18-16, 6-9 SEC) grabbed a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first on an inside-the-park home run by Mikey White. He hit a sinking line drive to center that Bulldog sophomore Stephen Wrenn dove for and missed, and it rolled to the wall. It was the first inside-the-park home run against Georgia since 2009 when Michael Stephens of Ohio State did it in the NCAA Tallahassee ( Fla.) Regional.

The Bulldogs (20-17, 6-9 SEC) tied the game in the third. Freshman Trey Logan led off with a base hit and scored on a two-out RBI-single by Wrenn. For Wrenn, the hit extended his on base streak to all 37 games this year. The Crimson Tide chased senior left-hander Jared Walsh in the third, sending nine to the plate and scoring four times to build a 5-1 advantage. Walsh left with the bases loaded and one out in favor of senior Taylor Hicks. Alabama pushed across the final three runs charged to Walsh in the frame on a balk, single and sacrifice fly. Hicks went 1.2 innings before the Bulldogs turned to junior David Sosebee, who blanked the Crimson Tide over the next three innings.

“We can’t start a game much worse, getting picked off in the first and then misjudging a ball for an inside-the-park home run, and I was disappointed in our hitters today because they were not prepared to battle,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “It was right there for us to get back in the game, we’ve got 2nd and 3rd nobody out in the seventh and we strike out three times, twice looking. Overall, we had a good start to the week but disappointed in how we finished. I’m encouraged with how David Sosebee performed, however Jared Walsh is now fighting it a bit with his back. “

Alabama starter Geoffrey Bramblett pitched seven innings for a win to improve to 5-1. Walsh got the loss to fall to 3-1 after allowing five runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. A bright spot for the Bulldogs was Sosebee providing three scoreless innings and four strikeouts as he works back in to form after missing the last month with a back injury.

Georgia had a chance to climb back in the contest in the seventh, loading the bases to start the frame as Brandon Stephens smacked a double, Keegan McGovern had a single and Trevor Kieboom was hit by a pitch. However, the Bulldogs mustered only a run on a balk as Logan, Nick King and Skyler Weber struck out. Bramblett finished with nine strikeouts and allowed two runs on six hits.

The Bulldogs continue their six-game road swing Tuesday at Georgia Tech (24-12). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be available on ESPN3 and the Georgia Bulldog Sports Radio Network.

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Tide Edge Georgia in 11

Tide Edge Georgia in 11

Posted on 11 April 2015 by Allen

Bama1

Mikey White’s run-scoring single in the 11th inning rallied Alabama past Georgia 7-6 Friday in front of a Hoover Metropolitan Stadium crowd of 3,247.

The Bulldogs (19-16, 5-8 SEC) scored a run in the ninth to force extra innings and then took a 6-4 lead in the 10th, but Alabama responded with three runs over the final two innings off closer Jared Cheek. George Salem led off the bottom of the 11th with a double and scored on White’s walk-off single to take game one of an SEC series. The Tide improved to 17-15 overall and 5-8 in the SEC.

“We had opportunity after opportunity to score runs all night, and it was a good game to watch if you were in the stands but tough if you were in the dugout,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “Overall, we didn’t execute enough to win. We didn’t stop fighting and rallied to tie in the ninth and take a lead in the 10th off their best bullpen guys, but we didn’t do enough of the little things to win.”

The Bulldogs had a 3-2 lead going to the seventh and Alabama scored a pair of unearned run to surge ahead 4-3. With a runner at second and one out in the eighth, Casey Hughston lined a ball to second baseman Mike Bell who smothered it, but his underhanded throw to first was too high and he reached on the error. Salem was aboard after a leadoff walk and moved in to scoring position with a stolen base. Freshman left-hander Bo Tucker struck out Kyle Overstreet for the second out. However, Cody Henry (3-for-4, 3 RBI) continued a big night with a two-run double and a 4-3 lead.

In the ninth, Georgia tied the game on a sacrifice fly by senior Jared Walsh off Tide closer Thomas Burrows. The first three Bulldogs reached in the frame to set the table for Walsh. In the inning, Georgia executed a double steal to put runners at second and third for senior Brandon Stephens (3-for-6, 2 RBI). Georgia tried to score the go-ahead run on a shallow fly ball to center but instead it resulted in a double play to keep it 4-4.

The Bulldogs left 14 men on base Friday starting in the second when it loaded the bases with one out. Alabama left-hander Taylor Guilbeau came back to record strikeouts of Bell and DJ Smith to keep it a scoreless contest. Alabama responded by taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a run-scoring single by Chance Vincent. Bulldog right-hander Sean McLaughlin kept it 1-0 by eventually striking out the side as the Tide stranded a pair in scoring position. The Bulldogs tied the game in the top of the third. Nick King drew a leadoff walk, collected his 13th stolen base of the year and raced home on a two-out RBI-single from Stephens.

For the second straight inning, the Tide managed to hit one over the head of right fielder Skyler Weber, this one resulted in a two-out, RBI-triple for Henry and a 2-1 edge. The Bulldogs answered in the fifth to take their first lead of the night with a two-out rally of their own. Stephen Wrenn got it started with a base hit to extend his on base streak to all 35 games this season. Walsh drew a walk and Stephens came through again with his second two-out, RBI-single to tie the contest. Then, Daniel Nichols made it 3-2 Georgia with a run-scoring single.

Neither starter figured in the decision as both teams bullpen combined to allow seven runs. Junior right-hander Sean McLaughlin started for the Bulldogs and struck out a career-high 9 in 6.1 innings while Guilbeau went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Ultimately, Mitch Greer (1-1) picked up the win with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief while Cheek (2-2) surrendered three runs on five hits for the loss.

In the 10th, freshman Keegan McGovern lined an RBI-double off Tide closer Thomas Burrows to put Georgia back in front 5-4. Later with two outs and the bases loaded, Wrenn notched an RBI on a walk for a 6-4 lead. However in the bottom of the inning, the first three Tide hitters reached including an RBI-single by J.C. Wilhite and a game-tying sacrifice fly by Vincent to push it to the 11th.

The series continues Saturday with first pitch slated for 4:05 p.m. ET.

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Big second half propels Tide to win over Vols

Big second half propels Tide to win over Vols

Posted on 10 January 2015 by Allen

Bama1

The Alabama men’s basketball team went on a 21-2 run and limited Tennessee to just 2-of-19 shooting in the final 12:34, closing out the Volunteers, 56-38, on Saturday afternoon inside Thompson-Boiling Arena. With the win, Alabama moves to 12-3 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, and has now won six consecutive contests.

The win snapped a 16-game road losing streak and a 12-game SEC road losing streak for the Crimson Tide. The last win for UA in a road SEC contest came on Feb. 12, 2013, when Alabama came out victorious in Athens over the Georgia Bulldogs, 52-45. Today’s game marks the first time Alabama has held an SEC opponent to less than 40 points since Jan. 27, 2010, when UA took down LSU, 57-38.

The Crimson Tide and Vols battled for much of the first half, with Alabama holding a six-point lead at 25-19 going into the media timeout at the 3:32 mark. UA led by as many as eight in the first half and went to the break with a 29-24 lead thanks to a last-second dunk by sophomore Jimmie Taylor. The Tide produced nine turnovers in the half and scored 12 of its 29 off those takeaways through 20 minutes.

Tennessee came out hot following the halftime rest period, scoring 13 of the first 21 points coming back from the break, including an 8-1 run that set UT ahead 32-30. Alabama weathered the run, however, and regained the lead, 33-32, going into the 16-minute break. Coming back from the TV timeout, Alabama committed three consecutive turnovers which Tennessee was able to capitalize on to take a 36-35 lead at the 13:39 mark. Following the lead change, the Crimson Tide immediately surged back, going on a 21-2 run to drown out the Vols and claim the 56-38 victory.

The Alabama defense stifled UT in the closing minutes, limiting the Vols to just 2-of-19 shooting over the final 12:34 of the game. In the second half, Alabama limited Tennessee to just 14 points on 5-of-24 shooting and held the Vols to 31.1 percent shooting for the entire game.

The Crimson Tide had three players score in double-digits, led by Rodney Cooper’s 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 3-of-5 from three-point range. Ricky Tarrant added 14 points, and Jimmie Taylor put up 13 on 5-of-5 from the field to round out the double-digit efforts for UA.

Alabama heads east to Columbia to take on South Carolina in a Tuesday contest on Jan. 13. The Crimson Tide and the Gamecocks tip off at 8 p.m. CT with the game airing live on ESPNU.

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Nick Saban 2015 Sugar Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video after loss to Ohio State

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Nick Saban 2015 Sugar Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video after loss to Ohio State

Posted on 01 January 2015 by Allen

Bama

The unthinkable happened tonight in New Orleans. Ohio State upset Alabama. The Buckeyes came into the Sugar Bowl as 8 point underdogs and even trailed by 15 points in the second quarter before roaring back to take the lead at halftime.

Coach Saban was upset with the Tide’s turnovers and now he will go back to the drawing board after two straight Sugar Bowl losses.


Blake Simms had two touchdown passes but 3 costly interceptions were the difference in the game. Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott had 230 yards rushing and two TDs. He was the real difference in the game.

Ohio State will now go on to face Oregon in the finals of the College Football Playoffs. The Ducks blew out Florida State earlier today to advance.

Last year Urban Meyer needed a win against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game to play for a National Title but came up short. This year he got the win when it counted and will get a chance to win another Championship Trophy.

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Nick Saban doesn’t want to coach the Jets

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Nick Saban doesn’t want to coach the Jets

Posted on 30 December 2014 by Allen

Bama

Nick Saban is arguably the best coach in college football. It’s almost a given that when big time college jobs or NFL coaching positions come open his name comes up. Last season it was the University of Texas that had all the buzz, this year it’s the Jets and 49ers in the NFL.

Today Saban was asked about coaching again in the NFL and he pretty much shot it down.

“Let’s start with the fact that I’m not really interested in any situation in the NFL. Rex Ryan is a great friend of mine, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. We’re hopeful that he gets an opportunity that’s helpful to him, in terms of what he wants to do. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the New York Jets.

“As I’ve talked about before, I think sometimes you’ve got to pick what you want your legacy to be. Where do you get the most positive self-gratification from, what you want to be and where you think you have the best impact on people. We’re extremely happy with being a college coach and what we’ve been able to do as a college coach and the challenges we have in trying to continue to do it.”

Alabama has a big game Thursday against Ohio State and if they should win they will play Florida State or Oregon for the National Championship. If Saban is going to jump ship to the NFL it will be later in the month after the playoffs are over. But from the looks of things he is staying in Tuscaloosa.

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Tide win SEC Championship Game

Tide win SEC Championship Game

Posted on 07 December 2014 by Allen

Bama1

Alabama quarterback Blake Sims completed 23 of 27 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns on the way to earning game Most Valuable Player honors and Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper had a game-record 12 catches for 83 yards to lead the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1 overall) to a 42-13 victory over 16th-ranked Missouri (10-3) in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game before a crowd of 73,526 on Saturday at the Georgia Dome (capacity: 72,000).

Alabama raced to a 14-0 lead and led at halftime, 21-3, before weathering a Missouri push in the third period that narrowed the margin to 21-13. But the Crimson Tide offense responded with a pair of touchdown drives spanning the end of the third quarter and the first half of the fourth period to put the game away. Sims produce the most accurate passing performance in SEC Championship Game history by completing 85.1 percent of his passes without an interception. The Crimson Tide set new standards for Alabama performances in an SEC title game by setting new title game records for first downs (28), points scored (42), offensive plays (76), rushing touchdowns (4) and pass completions (23).

Meanwhile, the Alabama defense limited Missouri to 313 yards (272 passing 41 rushing) and 10 first downs. Nose guard A’Shawn Robinson led the Tide’s effort with 9 tackles (5 solos), including 3 for losses and a quarterback hurry. Safety Landon Collins had 7 stops (6 solos), a tackle for a loss, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. The Tide defense had a season-high 11 quarterback hurries in the game, 6 tackles for loss, broke up 4 passes, and made numerous negative plays in the running game.

Four Tide players set individual highs for an SEC title game as Blake Sims set overall game records for total offense (281 yards) and completion percentage (85.1 percent); Amari Cooper set the mark for catches (12); Christion Jones set a game record for average yards per kickoff return (28.3 yards per return on 3 returns); and nose guard A’Shawn Robinson set a Tide record for tackles for loss in an SEC title game (3).

Alabama running back Derrick Henry set career single-game highs for rushes, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns on Saturday with 141 yards and 2 scores on 20 carries while T.J. Yeldon rushed for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 carries. In addition to Cooper’s 12 catches, wide receiver DeAndrew White had a team-leading 101 receiving yards and a touchdown on 4 catches. For Missouri, wide receiver Jimmie Hunt caught 6 passes for 169 yards, running back Russell Hansbrough had 21 yards on 13 and quarterback Maty Mauk passed for 272 yards and a touchdown while completing 16 of 34 attempts.

The Alabama defense was led in tackles by linebacker Trey DePriest with 14 while safety Nick Perry had 13 stops and cornerback Geno Smith made 10 tackles. Perry also had two tackles for loss, a key interception and broke up another pass. Smith made two tackles for loss. Linebacker Reggie Ragland had 3 tackles, including a crucial fumble recovery. The Tide defense ended the game with 2 quarterback sacks, 9 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups and 8 quarterback hurries.

Punter JK Scott averaged 43.3 yards on his 3 punts in the game, including a 52-yarder and 2 punts that were downed inside the Missouri 20-yard line.

The win gave Alabama a league-leading 24th SEC championship and moved the Tide to 5-4 all-time in SEC Championship Game appearances. Alabama’s 12th victory marks the eight time in Alabama’s history with 12 wins in a season, including the fifth time in 8 seasons under head coach Nick Saban. In moving to 3-2 all-time in the series with Missouri, the Crimson Tide moved to 31-10 against nationally-ranked opponents since 2008. Alabama improved to 17-6-1 all-time in games played in domed stadiums as head coach Nick Saban improved to 86-24 (.782) in his eighth season as head coach at Alabama.

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Breaking Down the 2014 SEC Championship Game

Breaking Down the 2014 SEC Championship Game

Posted on 02 December 2014 by Allen

missouri

In just their third year in the Southeastern Conference, the Missouri Tigers (10-2 overall, 7-1 in SEC play) will be making a 2nd-straight SEC Championship Game appearance this Saturday, as Head Coach Gary Pinkel’s troops (ranked 14th in the Associated Press Poll, 13th in the Coaches’ Poll) will face the #1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1) for all the SEC’s marbles. Kickoff from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., is set for 3 p.m. (central time), with the game televised on CBS.

Mizzou is coming off a hard-earned 21-14 win last Friday at home over the red-hot Arkansas Razorbacks (who came into the game after consecutive shutout wins over LSU and Ole Miss). The Tigers came into the game as underdogs, despite playing at home, and faced a 2nd-quarter deficit of 14-3, before PK Andrew Baggett connected on his second 50-yard field goal on the day to draw MU to within 14-6 at halftime. After a scoreless 3rd quarter, the Tiger offense came alive to score 15 points in the final period on a Maty Mauk-to-Jimmie Hunt TD pass (4 yards) with 12:41 left (followed by a Bud Sasser-to-Darius White 2-point pass) to tie the game, and a Marcus Murphy TD run (12 yards) with 4:38 left to take the lead. The Tiger defense, which pitched a second-half shutout for yet another outstanding performance, forced an Arkansas fumble with 2:13 left to play. Senior DE Markus Golden won a wrestling match for the ball for the recovery on the MU 35-yardline and the Tiger offense ran out the clock to clinch the win. It was Mizzou’s 6th-straight victory, and improved the Tigers to 14-2 in SEC play over the last two seasons.

A key to Mizzou’s great success in 2014 has been its continued success away from home, as the Tigers went a perfect 5-0 on the road this year. Mizzou has now won 10 straight road games (also went 5-0 in 2013), to establish a school record for consectuive road wins. The 10-straight is currently the nation’s 3rd-longest active road win streak (trailing Ohio State [13] and Florida State [12]).

Mizzou became just the third SEC East team to win the division outright in consecutive seasons.

The Tiger’s two SECCG appearances in just three seasons in the SEC are more than six other SEC programs (Mississippi State, South Carolina 1; Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt 0).

Mizzou returned just 9 starters from its 2013 Eastern Division championship squad, including 5 on defense, and 4 on offense. The losses on offense were particularly stout, as MU lost its starting QB, TB and top three receivers, in addition to 4 of its top 6 tacklers on defense.

In Mizzou’s last two SEC East-winning seasons, Gary Pinkel’s group has defied the preseason prognosticators. Mizzou won the SEC East in 2013 after being picked to finish sixth in the division in the preseason. The Tigers again were picked to finish in the bottom half of the division this season, checking in at fourth in the SEC East in the 2014 Preseason poll.

Those who follow the Mizzou program know that Gary Pinkel’s outfit is used to winning at a high level. This marks the fifth time in the last eight seasons that Mizzou has won a conference division title (2007, 2008 and 2010 Big 12 North; 2013 and 2014 SEC East). Additionally, in all five of those seasons, Mizzou has reached double-digit win totals as the Tigers went 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 10-3 in 2010, 12-2 in 2013, and of course the current 10-2 mark this year. It’s also worth noting that Pinkel played football with Alabama head coach Nick Saban at Toledo.

The Crimson Tide have won seven straight and enter the game Saturday as a 14 point favorite. Bama beat Auburn last week at home in the Iron Bowl 55-44.

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Nick Saban 2014 Iron Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video

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Nick Saban 2014 Iron Bowl Postgame Press Conference Video

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

Bama

Alabama won a wild 2014 Iron Bowl and had to rally in the second half to get the win. Amari Cooper was the star of the Crimson Tide offense with 224 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Bama QB Blake Simms threw for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns but put the team in a hole by throwing three interceptions early.

Nick Marshall put up some lofty stats as well with 456 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Sammie Coates blistered the Alabama secondary for 206 yards and 2 TDs.

Opening statement:

“First of all, that was a tremendous college football game on both sides. I’m really proud of the way our guys competed in the game. We didn’t play very well in the first half and didn’t start out well in the second half, but we just kept grinding. We started making some plays on offense and got the momentum of the game back. We started playing better on defense in the third and fourth quarters and came out with what was a tremendous come-from-behind win for our team. The thing you have to say about this team – somebody asked me how would you characterize this team – I would say that they do a great job from a competitive character standpoint of always making plays in the game when they need to make them. They seem to always be able to be resilient enough to play through adversity, which we certainly did today. It was great for our seniors in their last game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was really important to me that they have a great memory from their last game here. A lot of guys that are seniors contributed out there and down the stretch even. It makes you proud, and I’m sure our players are extremely happy to win the (SEC) West and have an opportunity to go to the SEC Championship Game.

“There were a lot of things that we need to do better as a team. You could say that in a lot of ways we didn’t play our best football, especially in the first half, but you have to give their players a lot of credit for making really good plays as well. I’m really, really proud of our team and proud of the character they showed in the second half. I just told the players at halftime, ‘We have 30 minutes. A lot of you guys have a lot of goals and aspirations. This is a gut-check as to what kind of heart you have, what kind of character you have and what kind of competitor you are in how you go out and play the second half of this game. I believe in you, I think we can win and I think we will win if everybody makes a commitment to doing their best in the second half.’ I was really pleased with the way the players responded and how they came out and played. Even though we turned it over the second play of the second half and they went down and scored, it just made the comeback that much better for our players, in terms of how they competed through adversity.”

On the fourth down conversion in the third quarter:

“I don’t think it was do-or-die. I thought we could play field position. One of the things that comes into my mind when we make those kind of decisions is if we were playing really, really well on defense, I probably wouldn’t have made that decision. But the fact is I thought we needed to score to change the momentum of the game – you have to take some chances. That was one that paid off for us, and I think it did change the game. I think it was a really big play for us.”

On Amari Cooper’s play tonight:

“We didn’t throw the ball downfield very much in the first half. The one time we did was a touchdown. I kept saying to (offensive coordinator) Lane (Kiffin) we’ve made a lot of explosive plays throwing the ball down the field, let’s take some shots on these guys and see if they can cover us deep. They (were) certainly doing that to us and we were not having much success. I think a couple of the big plays really changed the momentum of the game. Coop has been great for us all year. He certainly had a great game today. The guy played through a lot of injuries today. He was really kind of hurt, and he did a great job competing out there. He had 13 catches for (224) yards and made some extremely big plays in the game. I think we have other guys that are capable that we need to get involved offensively in terms of what they can do. DeAndrew White, Christion Jones, 13 (ArDarius Stewart) did a good job for us last week, hopefully we’ll get him back this week.”

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Bama hosts Miss State in Game of the Year

Bama hosts Miss State in Game of the Year

Posted on 14 November 2014 by Allen

mullen miss st

It’s being billed as college football’s regular season game of the year with the winner earning an inside track to the Southeastern Conference Western Division championship.

Top-ranked Mississippi State (9-0, 5-0 SEC) seeks to extend its perfect season against third-ranked Alabama (8-1, 5-1) in an SEC West showdown at 2:39 p.m. CT Saturday from a sold-out Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The contest will be televised live by CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce calling the action. Free live streaming video is also available through CBSSports.com. ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from Tuscaloosa at 8 a.m.

The C Spire Tailgate Show on the MSU Sports Radio Network goes live at 12:30 p.m. Jim Ellis, Matt Wyatt and John Correro will call it on the network (check for affiliates here).

Follow live in-game updates and engage with other fans via MSU football social media: @HailStateFBall (on Twitter), Facebook.com/HailStateFootball (Facebook) and Instagram.com/HailStateFB(Instagram).

The Bulldogs are aiming for the first 10-win regular season in school history. An MSU victory on Saturday would set up next weekend’s home finale against Vanderbilt with a chance to clinch the division title. With a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs would have to win their remaining two games and need Auburn to defeat Alabama in order for MSU to clinch the division.

MSU has embraced the underdog role all season, coming out with victories four times under that scenario. The squad is seeking to become the first team to win at LSU (Baton Rouge) and at Alabama (Tuscaloosa) in the same season since MSU did it in 1957.

“In every article you read, we are big underdogs heading into this game,” said head coach Dan Mullen. We know that role. We are going to be ok with that. Our guys are going to come in with a chip on their shoulder and play with great effort. No matter what everyone else is predicting, we want to play that way every week.”

“We’re back to the team that we were to begin with to begin the season,” added Heisman Trophy candidate Dak Prescott. “No one expected us to win; no one thought that we would win. We were the underdogs in all of those games.”

The Bulldogs are fully rested and well prepared after a 45-16 non-conference win against UT Martin last weekend. Saturday will be the fourth top-10 team MSU has faced this season. The squad has won 12 consecutive games – one shy of tying the school record – and has not tasted defeat in 364 days.

The Tide, ranked fifth in the College Football Playoff poll, survived in overtime at No. 14 LSU last weekend by a score of 20-13. Alabama has won the last six meetings against the team that resides just 84 miles down Highway 82.

Saturday’s matchup features the league’s top total offense and top total defense. MSU is putting up 522.1 yards per game, good for sixth nationally. Alabama is allowing only 275.2 yards per game, including 89.7 yards per game on the ground.

Prescott is the only FBS player to rank in the top 10 in total offense, points responsible for and passing efficiency. Prescott has thrown for 2,231 yards and rushed for 779 yards. He’s tossed 18 touchdowns and rushed for 11.

Running back Josh Robinson stands just 14 yards away from cracking the 1,000-yard mark for the season, while De’Runnya Wilson, a Birmingham, Ala., native, has caught a team-high 22 balls for 367 yards and six touchdowns. Senior wideout Jameon Lewis has worked his way back to full strength and will play Saturday.

Defensively, All-America candidate Benardrick McKinney paces the Bulldogs with 55 tackles. Defensive end Preston Smith is tops on the team in tackles for loss with 11.5, including seven sacks.

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Breaking Down Alabama at Miss State

Breaking Down Alabama at Miss State

Posted on 12 November 2014 by Allen

miss st

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.

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Tide win in Knoxville

Tide win in Knoxville

Posted on 26 October 2014 by Allen

Bama1

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper set a school record for receiving yards in a game with 224 yards on nine catches, including touchdown catches of 80 and 41 yards, to lead the No. 4-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1 overall; 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference) to a 34-20 win over the Tennessee Volunteers (3-5 overall; 0-4 in the SEC) before a capacity crowd of 102,455 Saturday night at Neyland Stadium.

With Justin Worley sidelined due to injury, redshirt sophomore Nathan Peterman drew his second career start for Tennessee. After two series, he was replaced by sophomore Joshua Dobbs, who went on to spark the Vols’ offense. Dobbs finished 19-of-32 for 192 passing yards with two touchdowns. He ran for 75 yards on 19 carries. It was the most rushing yards by a Tennessee quarterback since Tee Martin had 81 vs. Syracuse on Sept. 5, 1998.

The Vols rushed for 181 yards, the most Alabama has allowed this season. They previous high for a Tide opponent was 107 by Florida on Sept. 20. The total was the most by Tennessee in the series since 2010 when the Vols rushed for 184 yards.

The victory, Alabama’s eighth straight in the storied rivalry with Tennessee, marked Alabama’s fifth consecutive game in the series scoring at least 30 points against the Vols. Alabama cruised to an early 27-0 lead and withstood a mid-game Tennessee rally to secure the victory, scoring quickly in the early going on Cooper’s pair of touchdown grabs, quieting the crowd.

Linebacker Reggie Ragland led the Tide with a game-high nine tackles (six solos) with 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Safety Nick Perry had eight tackles. Overall, the Alabama defense had seven tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, three pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a pass interception. Freshman punter JK Scott had four punts in the game for 171 yards, an average of 42.8 yards per punt. Three of his four punts were downed inside the Tennessee 20-yard line and he had a 60-yard punt in the game.

The Crimson Tide gets next weekend off before resuming the season at LSU on Saturday, November 8 in Baton Rouge, La. Tennessee travels to South Carolina to face the Gamecocks on Nov. 1. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and airs on the SEC Network and can be heard on the Vol Network.

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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