Nick Saban and the fifth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will look to avoid back-to-back losses as they travel to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday night.
There isn’t any doubt that the Bulldogs will bring their best effort in the hopes of upsetting the Tide, so Alabama must bring the proper focus and energy to avoid a catastrophic defeat.
With Saturday quickly approaching, I wanted to bring my five bold predictions to the table for this matchup of SEC foes.
Alabama will hold Mississippi State to less than 250 passing yards
(AP Photo/John Amis)
This may not look bold to the casual fan, but the Mississippi State passing game is one of the most prolific passing offenses in college football. Mike Leach has brought his air-raid offense to the SEC and sophomore quarterback Will Rogers is doing a fantastic job executing it.
Rogers has passed for over 1,800 yards through five games with 14 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
It will not be an easy task for the Alabama defense, but I believe the Tide will keep everything in front of them and limit the yards through the air.
Alabama will hold Mississippi State to 17 points or less
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Much has been made of last week’s performance by the Alabama defense. And I will be the first to admit that the first half was just plain bad. In the second half, they seemed to settle down a little and played a little closer to the Alabama standard.
This week’s matchup against Mississippi State is a much different animal. The Bulldogs pass the ball on around 80% of their plays, so the linebackers and the secondary will need to be at their best.
I look for the Tide defense to give a strong response following last week’s poor performance.
John Metchie will get his first 100 yard receiving game of the season
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
John Metchie has been a slight disappointment this season for the Alabama offense. Through five games he has just 363 yards receiving with only two touchdowns. Drops have haunted the talented junior this season too.
Metchie is coming off a game against Texas A&M where he had his most receiving yards in a single game this season with 88 yards on seven catches. He could have had even more if not for a couple of crucial drops.
A lot of the focus will be on Jameson Williams moving forward and I expect Metchie to bounce back and prove that he can be a top-notch SEC target for Bryce Young and have a big day against the Bulldogs.
Alabama will reassert its dominance on the lines of scrimmage
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
For more than a decade Alabama has been known for its dominating performances in the trenches. This season Alabama has had moments where they have been handled.
It is not a question of talent, we all know how well Nick Saban and the staff recruits, I believe it is about the want to. After last week’s loss, I look for the Tide to reassert themselves on both lines of scrimmage. After all, they have a reputation to uphold.
Brian Robinson Jr. rushes for over 150 yards
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Robinson Jr. has been on a tear as of late. Over the past two contests, Robinson is averaging 159 yards rushing on over five yards per carry.
Robinson looks to be the workhorse for the young Alabama offense. I look for him to continue his dominance and gash the Bulldog’s defense for over 150 yards this Saturday.
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