Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) scores a touchdown as Mississippi State defensive back Nickoe Whitley (5) pursues during the first half of Saturday's game in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Photo by Dave Martin, AP)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. â€“ The Mississippi State Bulldogs came to Alabama with a lot of confidence and support behind them.
The Alabama Crimson Tide had a little confidence and support of their own with 101,821 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
By the time the night ended, the No. 13 (Associated Press) Bulldogs could not overcome the No. 1 Tide and fell 38-7.
Mississippi State was looking to go 8-0 for the first time since 1999. The Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1) had the second best start in school history.
"We have a lot of respect for Mississippi State," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "You don't get to 7-0 by accident."
Alabama (8-0, 5-0) did not waste much time. It took the first possession all the way down to the 11-yard line.
T.J. Yeldon capped off the nine-play drive with an 11-yard rushing touchdown to put the Crimson Tide up 7-0 with 10:28 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Bulldog offense didn't seem phased by the quick score and marched straight down the field.
MSU made it all the way to the Alabama 14-yard line. The drive stalled and coach Dan Mullen sent out freshman Devon Bell to attempt a 31-yard field goal.
Alabama's Dee Milliner got in the back field and blocked the punt.
"They came out and started fast," Mullen said. "We responded to a point and couldn't finish it off."
The Tide took advantage of the miscue by the Bulldogs. Quarterback AJ McCarron found a wide open Kenny Bell for a 57-yard passing score to make it 14-0 with 3:27 to go in the first quarter.
MSU answered with two first downs on their next possession, but it was forced to punt from Alabama's 44-yard line.
The Tide again had no problem moving the ball. This time McCarron found Michael Williams over the middle for a 9-yard score to make it 21-0 with 13:33 to go in the second quarter.
Alabama added a 34-yard Jeremy Shelley field goal with 52 seconds remaining in the first half to make it 24-0.
The Bulldogs moved the ball down the field, but the lack of time didn't give them a scoring opportunity.
The entered the locker room at halftime down 24-0.
Mississippi State got the ball to start the second half. After a two incomplete passes and minimal gain on a LaDarius Perkins rushing attempt, the Bulldogs were forced to punt.
MSU managed to force Alabama in a punting situation.
"Our defense settled in over the course of the game," Mullen said.
The Tide pinned the Bulldogs inside the 5-yard line at the 2.
MSU marched all the way down the field aided by a Chris Smith 28-yard and 14-yard grabs.
The Bulldogs found themselves at the Alabama 1-yard line.
On third and goal, MSU quarterback Tyler Russell rolled out of the pocket. He threw towards the end zone, but Alabama safety Robert Lester was there to pick the pass off.
Backup Alabama quarterback Phillip Ely found Eddie Lacy over the middle for a 27-yard touchdown with 13:06 to go in the ballgame.
On the ensuing kickoff, MSU's Jameon Lewis fumbled the return and Alabama recovered.
Kenyan Drake punched it in from 3 yards out to make it 38-0 with 8:14 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs answered with a nine-play, 63-yard drive capped off by a Dak Prescott 2-yard passing score to Robert Johnson with 4:39 to go in the game.
For the game, the Tide had 414 total yards. They rushed for 179 and picked up 235 through the air.
MSU finished with 256 yards with only 47 rushing yards. The Bulldogs picked up 209 yards passing.
Russell ended the night 15-of-30 for 169 yards and an interception. Prescott was 4-of-6 for 40 yards and one score.
Perkins only managed 38 yards on the ground on 15 attempts.
"Obviously, we're all disappointed, and that all falls on me as the head coach," Mullen said.
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MSU returns home next week when it plays Texas A&M. Kickoff time is expected to be announced today.