Bama vs Mississippi State – Analysis of Common Foes

The Notorious PAB is back again this week with some in-depth statistical analysis of Alabama vs Mississippi State.  Enjoy!

Bama and Mississippi State – Performance Against Common SEC Foes

Records, AP Poll and CFP Rankings

Season records

Alabama Crimson Tide          9-0 overall          6-0 in SEC          #1 in SEC West Division

Mississippi State Bulldogs    4-5 overall           2-3 in SEC          #6 in SEC West Division

AP Poll

Bama is, as expected, ranked #1 in the AP Top 25 Poll for Week 11, released November 6.  This comes after the Tide’s epic defensive effort, a 10-0 victory, against the then-#15 LSU Tigers in “Death Valley.”  (LSU has dropped to #19.)  Bama received 24 of 25 first-place votes – the other one going to the Michigan Wolverines – and accumulated a total of 1524 points out of 1525 possible.

Bama has played two teams currently in the Top 25 Poll: Texas A&M (#10) and LSU (#19).  In addition, three teams that faced the Tide received votes: USC (76 points), Arkansas (74) and Tennessee (9 points).

Mississippi State received no votes in the Week 11 poll.    The Bulldogs have competed against three teams that are ranked: Auburn (#8), Texas A&M (#10) and LSU (#19).

College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings

In the second College Football playoff rankings, released November 8, Bama is seeded #1.   Mississippi State is not ranked.  Looking at their common SEC foes, Texas A&M is #8, LSU is #24 and Kentucky is unranked.  In addition, Auburn, which defeated the Bulldogs, 38-14, on October 8, is in the #9 slot.

Common SEC Foes to Date

So far in the 2016 season, Bama and Mississippi State have taken the field against three common SEC foes:

Kentucky      5-4 overall      4-3 in SEC      #2 in SEC East Division          AP, CFP – not ranked

Texas A&M   7-2 overall      4-2 in SEC     #3 in SEC West Division        AP #10, CFP #8

LSU                 5-3 overall       3-2 in SEC     #4 in SEC West Division        AP #19, CFP #24

Game outcomes – Bama

Oct. 1       Bama at Kentucky                                 WIN          34-6

Oct. 22     Bama vs. Texas A&M                            WIN          33-14

Nov. 4      Bama at LSU                                            WIN          10-0

In these three games, Bama has scored a total of 77 points (25.7 ppg) while allowing only 20 (6.7 ppg).  In its other SEC contests – versus Ole Miss, Arkansas and Tennessee – Tide scoring was prolific and remarkably consistent: 48, 49 and 49 points respectively (48.7 ppg average).  Bama gave up a total of 83 points (27.7 ppg average), including 43 to Ole Miss in a game that the Tide won by less than a touchdown, 48-43.

In the games against common foes Kentucky, Texas A&M and LSU, we see reduced scoring and stingier defense.  Bama’s scoring margin across these two sets of games very consistent: +19.0 ppg against common foes and +21.0 against other SEC teams.  The Tide has shown that it can win a high-scoring game against Ole Miss and come back seven weeks later to gut out a 10-0 defensive gem at LSU.

Game outcomes – Mississippi State

Sep. 17     Mississippi State at LSU                          LOSS         20-23

Oct. 22     Mississippi State at Kentucky                 LOSS         38-40

Nov. 5      Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M            WIN          35-28

Mississippi State scored a total of 93 points in these three game (31.0 ppg) and allowed pretty much the same: 91 points in all for 30.3 ppg.  The two losses came by 3 and 2 points, while State’s one victory was by 7.  Looking at games against South Carolina (27-14) and Auburn (14-38), the Bulldogs put 41 points on the scoreboard, but surrendered 52; 20.5 ppg scored vs. 26.0 ppg allowed.    The most scored by Mississippi State in any game is 38 –  in a two-point loss to Kentucky – and the best defensive effort was holding South Carolina to 14 for a 13-point victory.

Scoring and scoring defense – quarter breakdown

The numbers for the Bama defense are rather stunning.  In the 12 quarters played against Kentucky, Texas A&M and LSU, 0 points have been allowed in 8 of them, 3 points in 2 quarters and 7 points in another 2 quarters.  In other words, the Bama defense has shutouts in 67% of the total game time.  The Aggies were the only squad to score a TD against the Tide.

On offense, Bama gathered most of its points in the second and third quarters: 28 of 34 points against the Wildcats, and 20 of 33 points against Texas A&M.  In its defensive slugfest against the Tigers, all 10 points by the Tide came in the decisive fourth quarter.

For the Bulldogs…

Quarter 1:   14 points scored  ;  21 points allowed  ;  -7 margin

Quarter 2:   31 points scored  ;  22 points allowed  ;  +9 margin

Quarter 3:   13 points scored  ;  21 points allowed  ;   -8 margin

Quarter 4:   35 points scored  ;  27 points allowed  ;  +8 margin

The first and third quarters are bad news for the Bulldogs.  Mississippi State outscored LSU 17-0 in the second half, but that wasn’t enough to overcome a 20-point halftime deficit.  Against the Wildcats, State led 14-6 at intermission, but Kentucky came back and enjoyed a 34-24 margin over the last two quarters.  The Bulldogs did a nice job against the Aggies, leading 28-14 at the half, clamping down during a 0-0 third quarter, and getting one more TD in the final stanza to win 35-28.

Aggregate game statistics

BAMA                                                                      MISSISSIPPI STATE

Points scored:  77 (25.7 ppg)                                   Points scored: 93 (31.0 ppg)

Points allowed:  20 (6.7 ppg)                                  Points allowed: 91 (30.3 ppg)

Margin:  +19.0 ppg                                                     Margin: +2 points

Total yards:  1262 (420.0 ypg)                                 Total yards: 1206 (402.0 ypg)

Total yards allowed:  564 (188.0 ypg)                    Total yards allowed: 1328 (442.7 ypg)

Margin:  +698 yards (232.7 ypg)                              Margin:  -122 yards (-40.7 ypg)

Passing                                                                     Passing

Comp / att:  50 / 82                                                 Comp / att:  48 / 84

Comp %:  60.1                                                          Comp %:  57.1

Yards: 586 (195.3 ypg)                                             Yards:  504 (168.0 ypg)

TD:  4                                                                        TD:  4

INT:  3                                                                       INT:  3

Rushing                                                                    Rushing

Yards:  676                                                               Yards:  702

Attempts: 145                                                          Attempts:  129

Yards / att:  4.7                                                        Yards / att:  5.4

TD: 3                                                                            TD:  7

Fumbles lost: 2                                                         Fumbles lost:  1

First downs:  69 (23.0 fdpg)                                  First downs:  58 (19.2 fdpg)

Third-down conversions:  23 / 45                      Third-down conversions:  16 / 44

Third-down efficiency:  51.1%                             Third-down efficiency:  36.4%

Penalties:  17 for 93 yards                                      Penalties:  15 for 115 yards

Time of possession:  99:32 (55.3%)                     Time of possession:  91:36 (50.9%)

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