TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In its first game at Bryant-Denny Stadium in almost a month, the No. 12 Alabama football team returned to form Saturday night with a 30-10 victory over the No. 17 Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The Crimson Tide used big plays on offense – three scoring plays of 45 yards or more – and a stifling defense to improve to 8-2 on the season and 5-2 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama limited Mississippi State’s ground attack, which entered the game as the SEC’s No. 3 rushing offense averaging 218.7 yards per game, to only 149 yards and no touchdowns. MSU’s only touchdown came with just over eight minutes remaining in the game on a 27-yard pass from Tyler Russell to Chad Bumphis.
BY THE NUMBERS: Here is a look at some numbers from Saturday’s game:
5 – The Alabama defense put constant pressure on Mississippi State, recording five sacks on Saturday. The five sacks are the most this season, more than doubling the largest output of 2010. The five sacks are the most since the Crimson Tide tallied five against South Carolina (Oct. 17, 2009) last season. Alabama recorded five sacks on three different occasions in 2009. Sophomore defensive lineman Damion Square paced the Tide in the category with two sacks, a career high, for a combined loss of 15 yards.
19 – With the win over Mississippi State, Alabama extended its win streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium to 19 games dating back to the home opener against Tulane in 2008. It is the third-longest streak in school history at Bryant-Denny and is just one win shy of the second-place mark of 20 set from Nov. 1, 1941 to Nov. 11, 1950. The longest winning streak at Bryant-Denny is 57 games from Oct. 26, 1963 to Nov. 13, 1983. During the current streak, the Crimson Tide is 11-0 against SEC competition and 5-0 against top-25 teams.
32 – By limiting the Bulldogs to only 10 points the Alabama defense continued its stingy ways at home this season. The Tide defense has allowed just 12 first-half points in five home game contests and just 32 points overall in Bryant-Denny Stadium, including three in the first half against Mississippi State and 10 overall. Opponents are averaging 6.4 points per game in Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2010.
34 – With two touchdown passes on Saturday night, senior quarterback Greg McElroy recorded the 33rd and 34th touchdown passes of his Alabama career, ranking him fifth on the UA career touchdown passes list. He has 15 touchdown passes in the 2010 season.
78 – Junior running back Mark Ingram took a Greg McElroy pass 78 yards for a touchdown with 2:17 left in the second quarter to give Alabama a 20-3 lead over Mississippi State. That play is the longest gain of Ingram’s Alabama career, surpassing a 69-yard pass play against Florida in the 2009 SEC Championship game. Ingram’s longest career rushing play is a 70-yard run for a touchdown against Mississippi State in 2009.
166 – Despite having an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown erased by a penalty, junior wide receiver Maquis Maze enjoyed a fine all-purpose yardage game for Alabama. Maze accounted for 166 total yards in the game by hauling in five receptions for 89 yards, returning three punts for 36 yards and returning two kickoffs for 41 yards in the game.
NEXT GAME: Alabama plays its first Thursday night game in nine years as Georgia State visits Bryant-Denny Stadium Nov. 18, for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU. It is the first year of existence for the Georgia State program under the direction of former Alabama head coach Bill Curry (1987-89). The Panthers are 6-4 on the season with victories over Shorter, Campbell, Morehead State, Savannah State, North Carolina Central and Lamar.