Alabama 24, Mississippi State 0, college football final

Staff Writer

In many ways, what happened on Saturday in Tuscaloosa was exactly what was expected as top-ranked Alabama defeated Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs excelled defensively as they always do, holding the Crimson Tide to only 305 yards – 260 yards fewer than their season average – however MSU’s offense simply couldn’t sustain much of anything. State only managed a season-low 169 yards of total offense.

It was a similar theme to what MSU has seen at times this year. The Bulldogs got elite-level defense, but nowhere near enough on offense. That’s the bad news for MSU.

Now here’s the good news. The Alabama game is over. Mississippi State now sits at 6-4 and should be favored heavily in its next two games. That sets up the potential for a successful finish to the 2018 season. If the Bulldogs can indeed handle business next week at home against Arkansas, then on Thanksgiving night at Ole Miss, State should get the chance for a pretty good bowl game in the postseason.

Back to that Alabama team for a minute though. What an impressive bunch. Mississippi State played the Crimson Tide as hard as anyone has all season long and Alabama still waltzed away with a 24-point victory. Yes, MSU played well at points and yes, the officials didn’t help the Bulldogs at all with a couple of critical decisions, but still, this Crimson Tide team might be one of college football’s best of all time. At this point, it’s readily apparent that probably no one will threaten Alabama. It will be an absolute shocker if head coach Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide aren’t again the national champs come January.

Joe Moorhead would love to one day build the Bulldogs into a program somewhere near the level of that Alabama squad. Only time will tell if he’ll be able to do that. However Saturday in Tuscaloosa illustrated the Bulldogs aren’t there. MSU shouldn’t feel too bad about itself though. No one is on Alabama’s level.

With Saturday out of the way though, the Bulldogs can now zero in on Arkansas and Ole Miss. In some ways, with four losses, MSU’s 2018 can never be as successful as many hoped when the season kicked off. However with wins the next couple of weeks, Mississippi State can somewhat salvage what has been an up-and-down campaign.