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Saturday night in Starkville was a sight for sore eyes as the Crimson Tide put on its best performance of the season. Even though the Tide came into the contest ranked fifth, the season wasn’t really going as expected. As we all know, the Tide is always chasing perfection.
After taking a loss to the Texas A&M Aggies in the previous week, the Tide came back with vengeance, defeating the Bulldogs 49-9.
Each week we grade all three phases of the game for the Crimson Tide, let’s see how they did this week!
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports Bryce Young
This was by far the most complete performance of the season by the Alabama offense. The Tide passed for nearly 350 yards and added almost another 200 on the ground. The balanced attacked kept the Mississippi State defense on heels for most of the contest, especially in the second half.
Bryce Young looked like a veteran quarterback out there, completing 20 of his 28 passing attempts for 348 yards and four touchdowns.
Brian Robinson Jr. wore down the Bulldog defense for a tough 73 yards on 19 carries. Robinson bullied his way for two rushing touchdowns, but also added a 51-yard touchdown reception, showing off his versatility. Roydell Williams was able to take advantage of a wore out Mississippi State defense in the second half rushing for 78 yards on 11 carries.
Collectively, the wide receiver group played its best game of the season on Saturday night. John Metchie III went off for 117 yards on seven catches and a touchdown. Jameson Williams once again showed off his elite speed on 75-yard touchdown reception to open the second half. The surprise of the night was sophomore Traeshon Holden. Holden reeled in three catches for 70 yards and one touchdown.
Upfront it was yet another average day for the offensive line. The line was not bad by any stretch, but it is clearly not one of the strengths of the team. Through seven games it is safe to say the offensive line is what it is.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
The defensive performance for the Tide was nearly textbook for the modern age of college football. The bend but don’t break philosophy was executed almost perfectly.
The Alabama defense gave up 299 yards of total offense to the Bulldogs but did not surrender a single touchdown. Will Rogers threw the ball a total of 55 times in the contest for 300 yards but was also picked off three different times.
The Tide smothered the ground game of Mississippi State, holding the Bulldogs to minus one-yard rushing in the contest. Now, Alabama did sack Rogers several times throughout the contests, and Rogers finished with minus 41 yards rushing.
Will Anderson Jr. completed wrecked the Mississippi State offensive line on Saturday night with four sacks. He was simply unblockable. As a team, Alabama sacked Rogers a total of seven times.
In the backend, the secondary played as well as one could hope. Jordan Battle had what was probably the best performance of his Tide career. The junior safety picked off Rogers on two separate occasions, returning one for a touchdown in the first half.
Let’s see if the Tide defense can play with the same intensity moving forward!
Special Teams: A-
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
One of the quiet stars of Alabama’s victory over Mississippi State was punter James Burnip. While his net punting average was not fantastic, he did pen the Bulldog offense inside the 20 on two different occasions.
Placekicker Will Reichard continues to be a consistent force for the Tide, connecting on all seven of his point-after attempts.
Jameson Williams averaged 32.5 yards per kick return with a long of 45.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
The Crimson Tide put together its most complete game of the 2021 season on Saturday night. The only area that you could point to that wasn’t dominant was the offensive line which continues to be a work in progress. Otherwise, the Tide completely dominated the Bulldogs and restored hope among the Tide faithful.
Stay tuned to Roll Tide Wire as we offer continuous coverage on the Alabama Crimson Tide!