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#4 Alabama Pulls Away From MSU, 24-7


STARKVILLE, Miss. - On a cold, breezy night where defensive highlights outweighed offensive highlights, No. 4 Alabama scratched and clawed its way to a 24-7 victory against Mississippi State on Saturday.
Yet, the final outcome wouldn't be decided until the 1:18 mark of the fourth quarter, when Eddie Lacy scampered around the left end for a 32-yard touchdown to seal the Tide's fate.

As it turned out, that run was the second-longest play of the evening for either team.

Bama (9-1, 6-1), coming off a 9-6 overtime setback to top-ranked LSU a week ago, mustered 386 yards of total offense and held just a 7-0 advantage at the break. Mississippi State (5-5, 1-5), which saw its two-game winning streak snapped, manufactured just 131 yards, its lowest output in the Dan Mullen era.

But if there was one quarter that saw great production, at least in terms of points scored, it was the fourth.

Heading into the final frame, Alabama was up, 10-0. However, that quickly changed at the 13:39 mark when Trent Richardson scored from the 2.

Yet, to the Bulldogs credit, they didn't fold.

Instead, in front of a crowd of 57,871, the second-largest at Scott Field, MSU answered and closed the gap to 17-7 when backup quarterback Tyler Russell connected with Chris Smith for a 12-yard scoring strike.

But the Tide's defense stymied any comeback hopes for the remainder of the game, while Lacey's touchdown run, his second of the night, ensured the victory.

Both teams also left points on the field, as each squad missed two field goals.

Defensively, Charles Mitchell led MSU with 13 tackles, while Corey Broomfield and Cam Lawrence were each credited with 12. Lawrence also had an interception return for 31 yards to the Alabama 4, but the drive ended with a missed field.

"If you're going to beat one of the top teams in the country, you've got to make all the plays," Mullen said.

In all, MSU had five stops behind the line of scrimmage. Alabama, which has now held the Bulldogs to 10 or fewer points for four-straight years, totaled nine, five of which were sacks.

Of the Bulldogs production, just 12 yards came on the ground, while Alabama grounded out 223 behind Richardson's 127-yard effort. From the passing department, Russell completed 13 of his 25 passes for 110 yards.

Next up for Mississippi State is a date with Arkansas at Little Rock next Saturday, set for 2:30 p.m. on CBS. The regular season then concludes on Nov. 26 at home against rival Ole Miss in a series that MSU was won two straight and three out of the last four.



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