INSTANT: Several starters injured in win over Mississippi State

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INSTANT: Several starters injured in win over Mississippi State

CW / Joe Will Field

CW / Joe Will Field

CW / Joe Will Field

CW / Joe Will Field

James Ogletree and Jack Kennedy

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STARKVILLE — Alabama defeated SEC West opponent Mississippi State 38-7 on the road, but sustained several injuries to key players. Junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, junior wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, freshman nose tackle D.J. Dale and senior defensive lineman Raekwon Davis all left the game with injuries and did not return.

Play of the game: Early in the second quarter, Tagovailoa slid forward in the pocket to avoid two Bulldog pass rushers and lofted a deep pass down the right sideline to sophomore receiver Jaylen Waddle. Waddle took the 35-yard pass to the end zone for his second receiving touchdown of the year.

Offensive player of the game:

James Ogletree: Najee Harris

Jack Kennedy: Najee Harris

Fan Vote: Najee Harris

Defensive player of the game:

James Ogletree: Shane Lee

Jack Kennedy: Shane Lee

Fan Vote: Anfernee Jennings

Notes:

  • Alabama needed only five plays to drive all the way down the field. Tagovailoa found junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy up the seam for a 37-yard gain on third-and-10. Junior running back Najee Harris rumbled into the end zone two plays later.
  • Mississippi State’s first offensive play resulted in an interception by freshman linebacker Shane Lee, who returned it to the 19-yard line of Mississippi State.
  • One play later, Tagovailoa lobbed a pass to a wide-open Harris for a touchdown.
  • Alabama appeared to have gotten a stop on a third-down sack on MSU’s next drive, but a facemask penalty on Davis gave the Bulldogs a fresh set of downs. Davis and Dale both had injuries on the drive. MSU scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown to cap an eight-play drive.
  • Dale did not return to the game. Davis did, but was carted off the field right before halftime and did not return after that.
  • The Crimson Tide drove inside MSU’s 20-yard line late in the first quarter, but a facemask penalty pushed it back to second-and-28 at the 37-yard line. Harris, again uncovered, gained 23 yards on a short Tagovailoa pass and then finished off the drive with a 5-yard rushing touchdown. It was his third touchdown in the first quarter.
  • Harris’ stellar day didn’t stop after the first quarter. He found the end zone for a fourth time in the second with another 5-yard rushing touchdown.
  • With three minutes remaining before halftime, Tagovailoa rolled to his left and threw out of bounds while being tackled. He stayed on the ground for about a minute before standing up and keeping weight off his injured right ankle. The ESPN broadcast showed Tagovailoa’s nose bleeding as he was carted off the field and later reported that he was going in for an X-ray on his right hip. Coach Nick Saban confirmed the hip injury and said the drive would have been Tagovailoa’s final series anyway.
  • Redshirt sophomore quarterback Mac Jones went 4 for 4 on the first drive of the second half, which ended in a 22-yard field goal by redshirt sophomore kicker Joseph Bulovas. Jones started 7 for 7 before his seventh pass was dropped in the late third quarter.