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Alabama vs. Mississippi State final score: Tide survives against Bulldogs, 31-24

A late score put the Tide ahead, and likely puts them at #1.

Alabama v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

When the College Football Playoff Rankings come out on Tuesday, we can expect the Alabama Crimson Tide to be #1. This realization comes after Alabama’s 31-24 victory over the Mississippi St. Bulldogs on Saturday night in Starkville.

‘Bama absorbed everything they could handle from State, who fought hard against the heavily touted Crimson Tide. With the score tied at 24 in the final seconds, a touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts to Devonta Smith put the visiting team up. State had an opportunity to tie the game late, but failed to connect on a Hail Mary pass on an untimed down.

The victory gives Alabama their 31st consecutive regular season win. The team hasn’t lost in the regular season since 2015. They are now 10-0, but business is still left unfinished.

What We Learned

Calvin Ridley is a boss

Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley put on a hell of a show in Starkville. The Tide wideout scorched State for 171 yards on just five catches. While he didn’t get any touchdowns, he was damn near unstoppable. Ridley has shown to be a force in his time in Tuscaloosa, and Saturday night was another example of that.

Mississippi State’s a dang good team, but buckled in the end

State proved why they were one of the top teams in the SEC on Saturday night. They hung around with Alabama until the bitter end, and nearly had chances to win several times. Unfortunately, things fell apart for them in the end. Blitzes backfired for them on the Tide’s game-winning drive. Then, after being granted a second chance at a Hail Mary, Nick Fitzgerald failed to connect, overshooting his options and throwing it past the end zone. There was also the ill-advised, quick drive that happened to give Alabama the ball back with the score knotted up at 24. These mistakes wound up haunting them, and State has likely played their way out of the New Year’s Six conversation.

Alabama will be #1 come Tuesday

The Tide’s win coupled with the onslaught Georgia received means we’ll see ‘Bama at the top of the CFB Playoff Rankings. Notre Dame loss to Miami only furthers that notion, as the Fighting Irish were throttled by the ‘Canes down in the Sunshine State on. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as they say.