Alabama runs winning streak against Bulldogs to 16 in a row

Published 12:52 am Sunday, October 1, 2023

STARKVILLE (AP) — Jalen Milroe was efficient at quarterback for No. 12 Alabama and the Crimson Tide scored touchdowns off two first-half interceptions in a 40-17 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Milroe completed his first eight passes and ended up 10-of-12 for 164 yards. He ran 11 times for 69 yards and two touchdowns — opening the scoring on a 53-yard scamper — to help Alabama (4-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) to its 16th straight victory over the Bulldogs (2-3, 0-3).

“We set goals for ourselves prior to the season starting, and those goals are still there,” Milroe said. “That’s the biggest thing. We’re trying to accomplish those.

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Mississippi State’s Will Rogers was 15-of-26 for 107 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. The Bulldogs had 261 yards of total offense and were sacked four times.

Chris Braswell returned one of Rogers’ interceptions 28 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. With Mississippi State trailing 24-10 in the final seconds of the first half, Rogers threw his second pick and gave Alabama a short field that Milroe took advantage of to score the second of his touchdown runs.

“You’re not going to beat a whole lot of good football teams when you give up a touchdown and then have an opportunity for a two-minute drill and throw an interception to give up a short field,” Bulldogs coach Zach Arnett said. “That was a poor job by the head coach. We should have taken a knee there.”

Mississippi State cut it to 17-10 in the first half, on a 15-yard touchdown run by backup QB Mike Wright, then was outscored 23-7.

Rogers’ touchdown pass to running back Jeffery Pittman in the third quarter was the first for a Bulldogs quarterback against Alabama since Dak Prescott threw one to Jameon Lewis in 2014. It was the first touchdown pass in Starkville since 2011.

Alabama finished with 335 yards of total offense in a balanced attack that included 171 yards on the ground. Jase McClellan had 15 carries for 63 yards and a score to compliment Milroe.

“There’s a lot of things that we think we can improve on. But I also think there’s a lot of good things that we need to build on,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “There are signs of the way we played in the second half against Ole Miss and times that we played in this game where we just got to build on that. We’re not where we want to be, we’re not where we need to be.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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