No. 5 Alabama (5-1, 2-1 SEC) at Mississippi State (3-2, 1-1), Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN).
Line: Alabama by 16 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Alabama leads 85-17-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Alabama aims to bounce back from a loss at Texas A&M that dropped the Crimson Tide from No. 1 and remain in contention in what is now a wide-open SEC West. Mississippi State had a bye after upsetting A&M and seeks consecutive wins for the second time this season. The Bulldogs also look to avenge last year’s 41-0 shutout loss to the Crimson Tide.
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers vs. Alabama’s pass defense. Rogers has passed for 14 touchdowns through the Air Raid offense and directs a unit that leads the SEC with 372.4 yards per game. He’s coming off a 408-yard, three-TD effort at Texas A&M two weeks ago. He’ll face an Alabama defense yielding just 195.2 yards per outing.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alabama sophomore linebacker Will Anderson Jr., an Associated Press preseason first team All-America selection, leads the SEC with 1.83 tackles for loss per game (for minus-37 yards) and ranks third nationally. He has 20.5 stops for minus-85 yards over his past 13 contests, including eight with at least 1.5 TFLs.
Mississippi State WR Makai Polk is averaging an SEC-best 9.2 receptions per game after catching 13 for 126 yards two weeks ago. He has double-digit catches in three of five games.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alabama has faced Mississippi State more than any other team and has won the past 13 in the series. … The Crimson Tide has rebounded from a loss with a win 15 times since 2008, outscoring opponents 487-150. … Last week’s loss snapped a 19-game winning streak overall and a 100-game streak against unranked opponents. … Rogers’ TD total through five games is more than recent MSU standouts Dak Prescott (13 in 2014) and Tyler Russell (10, 2012). … MSU ranks ninth nationally in run defense (89 yards allowed per game). … The Bulldogs have allowed just 18 tackles for loss, fewest in the SEC.
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