Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alabama-Mississippi State Preview and Prediction

Mississippi State at Alabama

Line: Alabama –20.5

Alabama will try to end a two game losing streak to Mississippi State when the two teams meet in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Even the great Saban lost to Sly Croom in Saban’s first year. The Bulldogs are not having the season they wanted to but Croom’s passion for beating Alabama still burns hot after being passed over a while back for his alma mater’s head job.

Keys to the Game:

1. Can Miss State Generate Significant Offense?

Although, they have improved as the season has moved along, Miss State still has a below average offense for the SEC. The reason they have the last two meetings is largely because of their defense feeding off Alabama miscues. The Tide has been avoiding those kinds of mistakes thus far this season, so I think Miss State will have to rely on its offense to score points on Saturday.

2. Will Alabama’s Run Defense Play Better?

Miss State’s offense prefers to run first and pass second. Alabama’s run defense was gashed last week by LSU and big NT Terrance Cody did not look like he was 100%. Miss State does not have the beef up front like LSU does, but they have shown they can run against SEC teams.

3. John Parker Wilson’s Confidence

The senior signal caller has been much improved in his final season, but he has had two horrendous games against the Bulldogs in the last two meetings. If he starts out slow or makes an uncharacteristic mistake (from his play thus far), he could be having flash backs of that toss to the end zone which Miss State ran all the way back for game winner a year ago.

Since throttling Georgia, Alabama has had their fair share of close games against inferior opponents, which Miss State is. Surprisingly, most of those have come at home where the Tide is this week. However, I think ‘Bama got their big scare last week and has its eyes squarely on and SEC and national title. They get revenge on the last two losses in a big way.

Alabama 38 Miss State10
Alabama Covers -20.5

Last Week: 2-3 ATS, 4-1 SU
Season: 25-16-2 ATS, 28-15 SU

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