Five quick hits from Alabama's 38-7 win over Mississippi State:
1. A.J. McCarron added more plays to his Heisman film Saturday in No. 1 Alabama’s 38-7 win over No. 11 Mississippi State. He made a lot of throws not a lot of quarterbacks make en route to a 16-of-23 for 208 yards and two touchdowns performance.
He’s now attempted 262 passes without an interception and has 18 touchdowns on the season, which ties him for the Alabama single-season record with John Parker Wilson (2007). Three more and he’ll pass Greg McElroy (20 in 2010) as the Tide’s all-time leader with 21.
“He’s done a great job with [the wide receivers], the running backs, with kills with checks…he’s a very smart quarterback,” said receiver Christion Jones. “We’ve got a long way to go and AJ is going to keep performing well.”
McCarron mysteriously headed to the locker room at the start of the fourth quarter and after the game, head coach Nick Saban revealed he has a back contusion, but could have gone back in the game and will play next week against LSU.
2. Alabama’s rush defense was no match for the SEC’s leading rusher LaDarius Perkins. Averaging over 100 yards per game, Perkins was held to a net of 38 yards on 15 carries. The Tide is holding opponents to 58.7 ypg and Mississippi State ran for a total of 47.
“Any team you play, if you can make them one dimensional and take away the run, you pretty much got them where you want them,” said safety Robert Lester. “When you put them in the air, you have a better chance of making them turn the ball over.”
3. Heading into this game, Mississippi State led the nation with a plus-16 turnover margin. But it was Alabama who won that battle Saturday, with three takeaways, two of which were momentum changers.
Cornerback Dee Milliner blocked a field goal attempt on the Bulldogs’ first drive and safety Robert Lester intercepted Tyler Russell in the end zone to cap a MSU 97-yard drive in the third quarter.
“I thought turnovers would be important in this game,” Saban said. “It was very important that we did not turn the ball over. We were plus-3 in turnovers. That was a huge difference in the game.”
4. Speaking of Lester, the senior has now had two picks in the end zone two weekends in a row as he had one against Tennessee last weekend. He now leads the team with three interceptions.
Asked if he was commended for coming up with key plays in critical situations, he said the only person who said anything was Milliner.
“He was like, the only time I can catch an interception is when it’s down in the end zone,” he said, smiling.
5. Alabama usually has a 24-hour rule to celebrate a win, but this week is different. Because it’s LSU week.
“We know this is our game,” Jones said. This is the big game for us. It’s the game everybody been waiting on.”
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