Miss. State win sets up Bama showdown
October, 20, 2012
By Greg Ostendorf | ESPN.com
Before the season, who would’ve thought that next Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi State game would feature two undefeated teams?
Despite MSU’s easy schedule to start the year, it seemed unlikely, but after the Bulldogs dominated Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, to the tune of 45-3, they will now be 7-0 heading to Tuscaloosa next weekend to face the No. 1 team in the nation.
The question is how good is this team?
Of their four non-conference victories, three of the opponents came from the Sun Belt. They have three SEC wins to this point, but all three were against teams in the bottom half of the conference -- Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Still, Mississippi State has looked impressive. The quarterback position caused problems last year, but junior Tyler Russell has taken the reins and turned the position into a strength. Against MTSU, he was 17 of 21 for 191 yards and three touchdowns. He’s now thrown 15 touchdowns to just one interception on the season.
Wide receiver Chad Bumphis was held to just one catch on Saturday, but he’s stepped in big games this year for the Bulldogs. In his last game at Bryant-Denny Stadium two year ago, he caught a touchdown, but Alabama held him in check last year.
Nobody expected Mississippi State to lose to MTSU, but instead of looking ahead, the Bulldogs took care of business and won big. It was a good tune-up game for next week’s showdown with the Tide.
Will they be ready?
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:15 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State