Southern Surroundings

Campus Clash

(18) Mississippi State Bulldogs at (1) Alabama Crimson Tide

Miss. St– At the beginning of the year, I was thinking that they could be the dark horse of the SEC and it sure looked that way early on but they came back down to reality and were humbled against the Florida Gators and their former head coach, Dan Mullen and their offense only scored six points and when you’re a team in the SEC, you have to be able to do two things and that’s play defense and score points when you have the football on offense. In a conference where you hear about quarterbacks such as Tua, Joe Burrow and Jake Fromm, it’s normal for your name to go under the radar but I don’t think that matters so much to the Bulldogs quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald and he’s had a nice career as a Bulldog. He’s a dual-threat quarterback that can use his legs to get free and make a defense pay. Many doubt his arm strength, but look at the numbers from his last game as he completed over 60 percent of his passes against Louisiana Tech along with 243 yards and four touchdown passes. The one thing I’m not a fan of is the team depending too much on Fitzgerald and this is almost similar to what I said about the Carolina Panthers last season with Cam Newton and that’s your quarterback shouldn’t be your leading rusher and that’s exactly what’s going on with Mississippi State. There’s nothing more they would want to get the win of the season in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon.

Alabama: As great as they have been and as much as they’ve blown people out, Saturday night in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers was indeed their best win of the season. They didn’t need to score 30 or more and their defense really showed up for the occasion and shut out a pretty solid LSU offense and didn’t allow the quarterback to do much of anything. Coming into the game, I predicted that Tua would throw a pick and it happened but it didn’t affect him at all and he just went back to work and picked up where he left off and tore apart that defense. They shut out LSU and only scored 29 points, so that means they don’t need to score a high volume of points to beat you and that’s what has made them so great. Nobody can take this team down, they are so above and beyond everyone at this point it’s incredible. People complain about them being so good, but then I respond back only the way I can and that’s if you don’t like seeing them win, do something about it and beat them! They have won the SEC West once again for the first time since 2016 and they’ll be playing the Georgia Bulldogs once again, but this time for the SEC Championship back in Atlanta with a spot for the playoffs on the line, that’s already been confirmed basically after Saturday’s results. Before all that takes place, they’ll return home for a showdown with the Bulldogs of Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon.

Mississippi State Player To Watch- Kylin Hill: Someone outside of Nick Fitzgerald needs to step it up and he’s going to have to be that guy! Take some pressure off your quarterback and watch how everything around you will open up.

Alabama Player To Watch: Damien Harris– When defenses throw everything they can at Tua, it always allows something for someone else and when the Tide are going back to running the football, they aren’t going to fold like that. He got his touches last week and I’d continue to feed him the football.

Final Analysis: You can never go wrong with some SEC action on a Saturday afternoon and that’s what we have here. Another win here for Bama and they’ll be 10-0 under Nick Saban once again. I’m unsure what Bulldogs offense will show up. One week they score a little over 30 and the next, they’re relying on field goals to help put points on the scoreboard. This will be an interesting one on Saturday.

Prediction: Alabama 38 Mississippi State 10