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No. 4 Alabama rolls over Mississippi State

Nov 13, 2011 - 7:35 AM Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - Trent Richardson totaled 127 yards with a touchdown on 32 carries as the fourth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to a 24-7 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Eddie Lacy added 11 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while AJ McCarron completed 14-of-24 passes for 163 yards as Alabama (9-1, 6-1 SEC) rebounded from its first loss of the season.

Tyler Russell went 13-for-25 through the air for 110 yards and a touchdown for Mississippi State (5-5, 1-5), which had a two-game win streak snapped.

"It's really frustrating. We were so close but had things like false starts and sacks that shouldn't have been taken," Russell said. "We can't make mistakes like that."

After neither team picked up a first down for the first four possessions, Alabama was able to collect two of them before stalling at the Bulldogs' 32- yard line before Cade Foster's 49-yard field goal attempt missed wide to the right.

Mississippi State converted its own first down on its next drive before being forced to punt. But punter Baker Swedenburg dropped the snap and Alabama took over on downs at the Bulldogs' 31. The Crimson Tide could not take advantage of Swedenburg's gaffe, though, as Alabama missed its second straight field goal. This time it was Jeremy Shelley, who missed his 31-yard kick wide left early in the second quarter.

The Crimson Tide were finally able to break the scoreless tie on their next possession. Kevin Norwood's 22-yard reception moved Alabama into Mississippi State territory before a defensive pass interference penalty on the Bulldogs kept the drive alive on a 3rd-and-9. Lacy took a pitch to the left on the next play and leapt over the pylon from two yards out with 9:59 left in the half.

It was then Mississippi State's turn to miss a couple of field goals as Derek DePasquale failed to convert a 41-yard kick before a Cameron Lawrence interception preceded Brian Egan's failed attempt to split the uprights from 29 yards out, keeping it a seven-point game at the half.

Norwood started Alabama's first touch of the second half with a 38-yard grab and Richardson later hauled in a 19-yard completion, but the nine-play drive stalled inside the Mississippi State 10 and Shelley split the uprights from 24 yards out to make the score 10-0.

After each team failed to convert on fourth-down attempts near midfield late in the third, Richardson capped a seven-play drive that stretched into the fourth quarter by rumbling into the end zone from two yards out.

But the Bulldogs quickly made it a 10-point game again as LaDarius Perkins returned the ensuing kickoff 68 yards down to the Crimson Tide 22 and Russell found Chris Smith for a 12-yard score three plays later.

Each team then traded punts before the Crimson Tide took over on offense with 6:32 left in the fourth. Richardson reeled off nine straight runs to bring the clock under two minutes and Lacy put the game away with a 32-yard run off the left side for a touchdown.

"I'm really pleased and proud of the way our players played tonight," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "I know there was sort of a challenge that presented itself a week ago and we responded the right way."

Game Notes

It was the 96th all-time meeting between the teams...Alabama leads the series with a 73-18-3 record, not including one forfeit and one vacated win by Alabama...Alabama has not allowed an opponent to score more than 14 points in each of its 10 games this year.