Starkville, MS

Mississippi State football suffers setback in loss to No. 5 Alabama

Collin Wilmes

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STARKVILLE, Miss. — A Mississippi State team coming off a big upset win over then-No. 15 Texas A&M two weeks ago was held in check Saturday night as the Bulldogs fell 49-9 to No. 5 Alabama at Davis Wade Stadium.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 3-3 (1-2 SEC), while the Crimson Tide improves to 6-1 (3-1 SEC).

MSU had 24 first downs but managed only 299 total yards and had three turnovers. Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers completed 35 of 55 passes for 300 yards and three interceptions. Redshirt sophomore receiver Makai Polk made seven receptions for 59 yards receiving, while sophomore receiver Jaden Walley had six catches for 64 yards.

Defensively, three Bulldogs finished with double-digit tackles. Redshirt junior linebacker Nathaniel Watson finished with a career-high 16 tackles, while senior safety Fred Peters and redshirt junior linebacker Jett Johnson tallied 10 tackles apiece.

Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns. Junior receiver John Metchie III had seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, while junior receiver Jameson Williams had two catches for 77 yards, including a 75-yard TD.

On the ground, Alabama sophomore running back Roydell Williams carried the ball 11 times for 78 yards, while redshirt senior Brian Robinson Jr. rushed 19 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 68 yards receiving and another score.

Junior linebacker Henry To’oTo’o paced the Crimson Tide defense with 13 tackles, while sophomore linebacker Will Anderson Jr. had six tackles and four sacks.

Alabama scored first when Young connected with Metchie on a 46-yard TD pass to give the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead with 10:34 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs responded with a 12-play drive that resulted in a 44-yard field goal for redshirt senior kicker Brandon Ruiz to make it 7-3 with 6:52 left in the first quarter.

Alabama junior defensive back Jordan Battle then picked off Rogers and returned it 40 yards to make it 14-3 with 3:54 left in the first quarter.

A 1-yard TD run by Robinson made it 21-3 before Ruiz made a 37-yard field goal to make it a 21-6 ballgame at the halftime break.

On the first play in the third quarter, Young connected with Jameson Williams on a hitch route that he turned into a 75-yard TD to give Alabama a 28-6 lead.

Ruiz then made his third field goal of the game, another 37-yarder, to make it a 28-9 game with 10:40 left in the third quarter.

Robinson then scored on a 51-yard reception and a 3-yard run to put the Crimson Tide ahead 42-9 with 12:37 to play. Young’s fourth TD pass came on a 29-yard connection with sophomore wide receiver Traseshon Holden to end the game’s scoring at 49-9.

The Bulldogs will now hit the road to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

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