Mississippi State put up a fight — the most serious one Alabama has faced all season — and came up just short Saturday night in a 31-24 loss in Starkville, Miss.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3 in SEC) sacked Jalen Hurts 5 times, held Alabama to 3 of 10 on third downs and Nick Fitzgerald ran for 66 yards and a TD and passed for 158. The Bulldogs ran for 3 touchdowns, something that had never been done against Nick Saban since he’s been at Alabama. But the Crimson Tide (10-0, 7-0) ran for 202 yards and Hurts led a final-minute drive to the end zone and the game-winning score.
“Frustrating. Our guys played their tails off,” Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said. “They played hard for 60 minutes. That is the No. 1 team in the country, and they are the No. 1 team in the country for a reason. It isn’t easy to beat the No. 1 team in the country. I guess we get opportunities every year, so we will get another shot next year.”
The loss was one of the good kinds in the eyes of SEC Country Power Poll voters. Mississippi State remained No. 4 this week behind Alabama, Auburn and Georgia and ahead of LSU. The Bulldogs moved into the fourth position a week ago.
Less than one minute into the fourth quarter Saturday, Mississippi State took a 24-17 lead when Jace Christmann connected on a 25-yard field goal. Damien Harris pulled Alabama even with a 14-yard touchdown run with 9:49 left in the game. The Bulldogs reached the Alabama 42 on their next drive but were forced to punt. Alabama drove to the Mississippi State 23 but missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt. After another punt, Alabama drove 68 yards on 6 plays and took the lead on a Hurts to DeVonta Smith 26-yard catch-and-run TD with 25 seconds left.
Saban was complimentary of the Bulldogs after the game.
“We did what we had to do to score points,” Saban said. “Defensively, we did not do a great job at stopping the run, but you have to give Mississippi State a lot of credit. They had a great plan and a good running game. The quarterback is really a handful to go with the running game.”
Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 11 Power Poll rankings
Results are below:
|1||Alabama (10 – 0)||337||25||1||1||2|
|2||Auburn (8 – 2)||311||1||3||1||3|
|3||Georgia (9 – 1)||288||0||2||2||3|
|4||Mississippi State (7 – 3)||255||0||4||4||5|
|5||LSU (7 – 3)||239||0||5||4||5|
|6||South Carolina (7 – 3)||187||0||6||6||11|
|7||Texas A&M (6 – 4)||173||0||7||6||12|
|8||Kentucky (7 – 3)||161||0||8||6||10|
|9||Missouri (5 – 5)||124||0||10||8||11|
|10||Ole Miss (5 – 5)||114||0||9||8||13|
|11||Florida (3 – 6)||75||0||11||7||13|
|12||Arkansas (4 – 6)||54||0||14||6||14|
|13||Vanderbilt (4 – 6)||30||0||13||10||14|
|14||Tennessee (4 – 6)||18||0||12||12||14|
This week’s voters:
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chip Towers (DawgNation)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)
The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 11) appeared first on SEC Country.