djr-2019-11-17-sport-bama-jeudy-twp2

Jerry Jeudy fights off Mississippi State’s Jaquarius Landrews on one of his seven receptions on Saturday. Jeudy had 114 yards receiving as the Tide passed for 350 in the win.

STARKVILLE It was seemingly over before it even began for Mississippi State on Saturday.

The Bulldogs had already fallen behind No. 4 Alabama by two touchdowns before they had even run two plays on offense. The catastrophe continued for MSU in what would eventually be a 38-7 loss.

“A team like Alabama is known to pour it on you when they can,” said MSU linebacker Erroll Thompson. “You can’t spot a team like that 14 points, you’ve got to come out and play every down. Spotting them 14 points was enough.”

After a short kickoff by Jace Christmann and an offsides penalty to boot, Alabama started its opening drive at the MSU 45-yard line and scored in only five plays on a Najee Harris 5-yard run.

The Bulldogs’ first offensive play also gave the Crimson Tide excellent field position. Tommy Stevens threw an interception right to linebacker Shane Lee to setup the Alabama offense at the 19-yard line.

“That’s on me, I didn’t go through my post-snap checklist,” Stevens said. “It wasn’t where I was supposed to go with the ball obviously. That’s completely on me.”

Harris again made State pay as he hauled in a 19-yard touchdown from Tua Tagovailoa on the very next play.

Alabama’s offense produced touchdowns on its first five drives and established a 35-7 lead by halftime. However, the opening half came at a cost for the Crimson Tide. Tagovailoa sustained a hip injury just with 3:01 in the second half and had to be carted off the field.

“I really don’t know at this point,” said Alabama coach Nick Saban. “We’ve got to do some MRIs and some things, but it’s a hip injury and that’s probably something that could be serious. So we just have to wait and see.”

Tagovailoa had connected on 14 of 18 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns prior to the injury.

The Tide (9-1, 6-1 SEC) finished the day with 510 yards on offense, 328 of which came in the opening half. Alabama produced only three points in the second half with back-up quarterback Mac Jones as the helm.

Mississippi State (4-6, 2-5 SEC) managed only 270 yards on offense. The Bulldogs’ only score came in the first quarter on an eight play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard run by Kylin Hill.

Not so fast, my friend

Stevens had eclipsed the century mark on the ground until Alabama’s only sack on the Bulldogs’ final offensive play. He finished with 96 net rushing yards on 10 carries and completed 12 of 21 passes for 82 yards and one interception.

“We took some shots down the field and weren’t able to connect with them,” said MSU coach Joe Moorhead. “Of his 21 attempts, there were some deeper routes called and (Alabama) got underneath and we had to drop it down.

“The accuracy was okay but we weren’t able to get a ton of production from a yardage standpoint.”

Hill was State’s top receiver with three catches for 21 yards but was held to just 35 yards rushing on 16 carries.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com

Twitter: @loganlowery

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