No. 6 Alabama had won 15 consecutive games against Tennessee, but that winning streak came to a crashing halt last weekend in a dramatic upset by the Volunteers. Now the Crimson Tide will be out to protect a similar streak when it plays host to No. 24 Mississippi State on Saturday. Alabama has won 14 straight against the Bulldogs dating back to 2008, and likely need a victory to stay in contention for the College Football Playoff.
Mississippi State will be out for some redemption after a poor showing in a 27-17 loss at Kentucky last week, and it will have to overcome some poor recent history against Alabama to pull the upset. The Tide have outscored the Bulldogs 152-16 over the past four meetings, including a 49-9 win last season.
But with the SEC's career completions leader Will Rogers at quarterback leading the nation's No. 8 passing attack, the Bulldogs have a chance to be giant slayers over the next several weeks. Of their final five opponents, three are ranked in the top 10, as the Bulldogs host No. 1 Georgia on Nov. 12 and close the regular season at arch rival No. 7 Ole Miss on Nov. 24.
How to watch Alabama vs. Mississippi State live
Date: Saturday, October 22 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium -- Tuscaloosa, Alabama
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Alabama vs. Mississippi State Need to know
Prepare for penalties: A school-record 17 penalties plagued Alabama in last week's loss, and that was no anomaly. Penalties have been a recurring theme for the Crimson Tide, which rank 129th of 131 FBS teams in penalties for an average of 79.9 yards per game. Mississippi State isn't much better, as the Bulldogs rank 119th at 71 penalty yards per game. They were whistled 13 times for 109 yards in the Kentucky loss, meaning these teams were penalized a combined 30 times last week.
Red zone battle: Mississippi State ranks ninth nationally in red zone offense and tied for 16th in red zone defense, far better than Alabama in both categories. The Bulldogs' red zone touchdown rate of 90.9% ranks second nationally, while Alabama is 19th nationally 73.5%. If the Bulldogs can string some drives together, their strength inside the 20-yard line could keep them in the game.
Releasing frustration: Alabama has a history of playing -- and beating -- Mississippi State the week after its rare regular-season losses under Saban. The Crimson Tide were coming off their stunning loss at Texas A&M last season when they drubbed the Bulldogs 49-9. They also lost to LSU the week before crushing Mississippi State 38-7 in 2019. In both those instances, the Bulldogs were coming off wins against SEC West foes. This time, they'll have some frustration of their own to work out following last week's loss at Kentucky.
Alabama vs. Mississippi State prediction, picks
Mississippi State has been too erratic away from home to trust on the road against an angry Alabama team. Though 5-2, the Bulldogs' two losses are both on the road by double-digits against SEC foes. Even if the Bulldogs find some of the apparent holes in Alabama's secondary, they won't be able to keep up with Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young, who played incredibly in his return from a shoulder injury last week. Nick Saban has outscored Mike Leach 79-7 in their two meetings as division foes, and he clearly has a read on how to handle Leach's attack. Prediction: Alabama -21
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