Mississippi State: at Arkansas (11/18), vs. Alabama'sJalen Hurts never flinched. On the play before the touchdown - and facing a 3rd-and-15 - Hurts found Calvin Ridley over the middle for a 31-yard gain, just a split-second before Mississippi State's defense crushed the pocket.
Mississippi State and Alabama are tied at 24 in the 4th quarter at Davis Wade Stadium.
Alabama had a chance to take the lead late, but Pappanastos clanged a 41-yard field goal attempt off the left upright with 2:03 left.
"He's definitely very poised, but we've been in situations like this previous year, ... and we just made some great plays", Ridley said of Hurts.
However, MSU had a disasterous three-and-out following the missed field goal. It's meaning was that if Alabama had trouble with Mississippi State, then you could expect them to have trouble with Auburn and Georgia too.
Ridley was the biggest benefactor of Hurts' success through the air, finishing with five receptions on eight targets for a season-high 171 yards, including a pair of first-half catch-and-run plays for 61- and 63-yards on Alabama's first two scoring drives of the game. The star receiver was hesitant at first.
"This was a great win for our team", Tide head coach Nick Saban said.
"Sometimes you need hard", Saban said.
However, Alabama has had big plays offensively to keep the game close with MSU. He also ran for a touchdown in the first quarter. However, his Dawgs were totally out-played in every facet against an Auburn team running on fumes in the SEC West. It started winning the line-of-scrimmage battle early and often, with Aeris Williams rushing for 60 yards and two TDs before halftime, much of it between the tackles.
Injured Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson, who missed the game with a foot injury that's knocked him out for the season, responded with an emoji-filled tweet that seemed to question that opinion.
But the Tide took over in the fourth quarter.
The win for the Tigers (7-3, 4-2) was their second consecutive victory over the Razorbacks (4-6, 1-5), who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.
"We wanted to control the tempo of the game", Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said.
Instead, Saban and his Tide do what they do probably 99 percent of the time whenever we think there's a sliver of hope for the other team: They stepped on the Bulldogs' throats.
"We are an aggressive defense", Mullen said. "That's our style. We are not going to charge our style or get conservative".