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GAMEDAY: No. 2 Alabama at No. 16 MSU




Halftime: MSU 14, Alabama 14 




Total Yards: Alabama 191, MSU 172 


Passing Yards: Alabama 151, MSU 73 


Rushing Yards: MSU 99, Alabama 40 


Third Downs: MSU 5-9, Alabama 2-5 


Yards Per Play: Alabama 8.3, MSU 4.4 


Penalties: MSU 3-15, Alabama 3-30 




Nick Fitzgerald: 6-10, 73; 10 carries, 34 yards 


Aeris Williams: 14 carries, 60 yards, 2 TDs 


Kylin Hill: 4 carries, 7 yards 


Jordan Thomas: 1 catch, 24 yards 


Farrod Green: 1 catch, 23 yards 


Four other MSU receivers with one catch and all have fewer than 10 yards 




Leo Lewis, Jeffery Simmons: 4 tackles 


Braxton Hoyett: 3 tackles 


Cory Thomas: 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup 




- Key stat: All of MSU's third downs have been with four of fewer yards to go to move the chains. 


- I said in my pregame video that big plays against Alabama, particularly through the air, are unlikely given MSU's track record to date, so the formula to victory is to be ruthlessly efficient offensively. MSU has done just that: the Bulldogs are averaging 4.6 yards per play and only twice have gone for gains of more than 12 yards. Averaging 4.6 yards per play wouldn't be great on most scales, but when you're lacking explosive plays like MSU is right now, that's a really good number: possibly good enough to win if Logan Cooke keeps punting like he is right now. 


- Calvin Riley has been the killer of MSU's defense and he's done it in ways that aren't necessarily indictments of the MSU defense. The first time he ran a classic Cover 2 buster, hitting the middle of the field just shallow of the two safeties over the top and then made a move to get free. The second time it was Jalen Hurts scrambling and causing all kinds of chaos on the defense. 




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