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Alabama battles back to beat Mississippi State

13 November, 2017, 03:29 | Author: Joan Malone
  • Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks to Minkah Fitzpatrick on the sideline during the annual Alabama A Day game

The chemistry between Jalen Hurts and Calvin Ridley is alive and well.

Throwing two ideal passes with less than a minute remaining, the sophomore quarterback carved through Mississippi State's defense and helped deliver a precarious victory for the top-ranked Crimson Tide on Saturday night. He then zipped a pass to DeVonta Smith for 26 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 25 seconds on the clock.

The Bulldogs' upset bid against top-ranked Alabama fell just short on Saturday night, 31-24.

It wasn't just the score - although the Tide was down 24-17 in the fourth quarter and Davis-Wade Stadium was shaking.

Mississippi State will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for a game with the Arkansas Razorbacks next Saturday.

Perhaps fittingly in such a heartbreaking game for MSU, the play prior to the go-ahead score saw Alabama convert on a third and 15 from its own 43-yard-line.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Hurts and Ridley were great when adversity hit. The star receiver was hesitant at first.

"I can't tell you how happy and excited I am for the players", Saban said. "If we're going to beat really good teams, if we're going to compete, we've got to learn how to compete in close games where every play counts". "Our guys played their tail off for 60 minutes".

Even with the struggles on defense, four of Ridley's five catches positioned Alabama to score much needed touchdowns in order to quiet the crowd. Mississippi State pushed ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by Aeris Williams. Instead, Logan Cooke punted into the end zone and the Tide took over with 6:30 to go. "We have two more games left in the regular season".

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Hurts' touchdown run improved his personal career touchdown responsibility total to 54, remaining in third place on the Alabama record list behind second-place John Parker Wilson's 58 (2005-08).

"It hurts", said Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who threw two Hail Mary attempts to no avail in the closing moments. Sometimes if you win a game like this, it does a lot for everybody coming together.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen - who is now 0-9 against the Tide - said he didn't regret the team's decision to try and put pressure on Hurts late. "We came after them".

The Crimson Tide offense answered once again, with Hurts scampering 13 yards on a crucial fourth-and-five from the MSU 34-yard line to keep the Tide drive alive and the flawless 12-for-12 fourth down conversion rate this season intact. Hurts completed 10 of 19 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs did just about everything right except for win the game.

Two plays later, Harris busted through the middle for a 14-yard touchdown run.

It's hard to explain just how bleak things looked for Alabama Saturday night.

Mississippi State has nothing to be ashamed of.

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