3 Up, 3 Down: Bama 38, Miss. State 7

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A look at the good and bad from Saturday night's 38-7 beat down of No. 11 Mississippi State in Bryant-Denny Stadium.


1. McCarron on a roll: Mississippi State tried to load the box and dare AJ McCarron to throw. So he did. McCarron picked apart the Bulldogs vaunted secondary, tossing two touchdowns and no interceptions.

2. Line of scrimmage: Alabama's success on offense can be traced back to the offensive line that pushed around Mississippi State, affording Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon running lanes and McCarron the time to find his receivers down field. Conversely, the defensive front got enough pressure on Tyler Russell to throw the usually potent Bulldogs offense for a loop.

3. Forcing turnovers: Alabama's defense was its usual stingy self on Saturday night. Robert Lester picked off a pass in the end zone to take what would have been at least three points off the board. A pair of fumble recoveries gave Alabama's offense the ball and took the wind out of Mississippi State's sails as well.


1. A full four quarters: It happened again. Alabama came out fast and strong and eased off the gas after halftime. The Tide dominated the first two quarters of play, jumping out to a 24-0 lead, but in the second half faltered. Mississippi State scored a late touchdown and the Alabama offense was able to muster only two more scores.

2. Injuries: They were minor, but they were noteworthy. Alabama beat Mississippi State soundly, but it came at a cost. McCarron had to leave the game with a back contusion and star wide receiver Amari Cooper was bothered with an ankle injury throughout the game. Heading into the home stretch, any injury, no matter how minor, begins to add up.

3. Shaky secondary: The secondary played well, but it wasn't quite its usual dominant self. Russell and the Mississippi State offense racked up 209 passing yards, the most of any team this season.