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GAMEDAY: No. 2 Alabama at No. 16 MSU

 

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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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