NCAA Football – Week 9
After stumbling to a 7-6 record overall and a 2-6 record in conference play in 2011, Mississippi State has been one of the biggest surprises in the SEC this season with an overall record of 7-0 straight-up (5-2 against the spread) and a 3-0 start both SU and ATS in conference play. The total has stayed UNDER in five of the Bulldogs last six games behind a defense that is giving-up an average of just 14.4 points a game.
Offensively, Mississippi State has been getting it done with a balanced attack that has had success both passing and running the ball. Tyler Russell has thrown for 1,573 yards and 15 touchdowns while completing just over 60 percent of his attempts. LaDarius Perkins has done the bulk of the damage on the ground with 724 total yards rushing and an average of 5.8 yards a carry.
Alabama is also off to a perfect 7-0 SU start and it is 4-3 ATS. It is easy to see why the defending national champs have struggled to cover the spread this season considering that it has been 19 points or higher in six of their seven games. The total has gone OVER in three of their last five games.
This will be the first true test for the Crimson Tide considering the teams they have already played, but when you look at how badly they have been beating teams so far do not expect a close game. The winning formula for Nick Saban’s team has remained the same; a punishing ground game coupled with a shutdown defense that is ranked first in the nation in both total yards and points allowed. The Tide is averaging 41 points a game while giving-up an average of 8.3.
The question here is can the Bulldogs go on the road against the best team in the nation and keep the score closer than 24 points and the answer is yes. Mississippi State is a solid team across the board and it should be able to keep this a two-touchdown game for most of the way. Look for Alabama to wear the Bulldogs down in the end, but not enough to cover the spread.
Alabama 28 Mississippi State 13