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Top-ranked Tide rolls in first ‘real’ test

Mississippi State v Alabama Getty Images

UPDATED 12:14 a.m.: Consider this first test aced.

Coming off a strong first half, No. 1 Alabama closed nearly as strong in dropping Mississippi State from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 38-7 win.

Thanks to Florida’s loss to Georgia, the Tide will likely, once again, be a unanimous No. 1 when the Associated Press and coaches’ polls are released Sunday afternoon.

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One of the few negatives a nitpicker could find when it comes to the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide is its strength of schedule, or lack thereof.  The combined record of the Tide’s last six opponents?  23-25.

Even a 27-point season-opening win over then-No. 5 Michigan came with an asterisk, although that’s slowly fading as the Wolverines have gone on to win five of their next six.

Still, many were looking at Saturday’s game with No. 13 and undefeated Mississippi State as UA’s first real test of the 2012 season.  If that’s indeed the case, and through 30 minutes, it’s A’s across the board.

Through two quarters of play, the Tide has dominated every phase of the game, leading the Bulldogs 24-0 at the half.

Offensively, the Tide totaled 236 yards, including an un-Alabama-like 177 yards passing off the right arm of Heisman contender AJ McCarron.  On the defensive side of the ball, where the Tide leads the country in nearly every major statistical category, they were their usual dominant self, limiting MSU to 105 yards of total offense, just 2.1 yards per carry and four first downs.

Even on special teams, the Tide is holding a significant edge.  Their lone kick return of the game went for 41 yards, giving the Tide prime field position on the opening kickoff that was cashed in on with a T.J. Yeldon touchdown run.  Additionally, punter Cody Mendell‘s gross average was the same as his net on three kicks at 52.7, pinning the Bulldogs at the 21-yard line or deeper each time.

Add it all up, and the methodical machine that is Alabama football continues to roll on.

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11 Responses to “Top-ranked Tide rolls in first ‘real’ test”
  1. thraiderskin says: Oct 27, 2012 11:44 PM

    Argument over…

  2. Deb says: Oct 27, 2012 11:56 PM

    ROLL TIDE!!!

    This one was a concern, but next week will be the real nail-biter.

  3. kozbee says: Oct 28, 2012 12:15 AM

    Great game Bama.

  4. kansas525 says: Oct 28, 2012 9:33 AM

    Easier for some to look good than others. Have you checked the “strength of schedule” lately? Slightly better than last year. Prior to yesterday’s game Alabama’s was #30; every Big 12 team was ranked in the top 25 with K-State’s at #2. And after the way the (former) #2 and #10 team’s looked on Saturday – 7 turnovers, unable to convert 3rd downs, penalities, etc. Seems to me the SEC is highly overrated this year. Oh, just in case the response is, “It’s because they are playing each other”, the Big 12 lost fewer non-conference games than the SEC. Sorry ’bout that.

  5. novoodoo4409 says: Oct 28, 2012 9:35 AM

    Biggest cupcake schedule in the SEC…if you think otherwise, you’re just a redneck delusional homer…chances are, you are JUST a redneck homer…TGIDLITA…..thank goodness I don’t live in Tuskeyloser al

  6. manchestermiracle says: Oct 28, 2012 10:14 AM

    It looks like there won’t be any real test of the Tide until the SEC championship game. Maybe not then, either. We might have to wait until the NCG to see if anyone outside their conference can hang with them. So far this season all we’ve seen is that the SEC is pretty top-heavy.

  7. rtfox says: Oct 28, 2012 11:02 AM

    Novoodoo where u from?

  8. jason1214 says: Oct 28, 2012 11:36 AM

    All the SEC haters and their strength of schedule argument…blah blah blah. Last I checked the Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12 are o-fer in BCS Title games since Okla in 2000, OSU in 2002, and Texas in 2005. SEC? 7-1.

  9. dcroz says: Oct 28, 2012 1:04 PM

    jason1214:

    Actually, the SEC is 8-1 in BCS title games. And the one loss came last year, when one SEC team beat another.

  10. jason1214 says: Oct 28, 2012 6:56 PM

    @dcroz

    My bad, helped my argument anyway.

  11. patall24 says: Oct 29, 2012 3:39 PM

    I love how the Bama haters comment so much on bamas articles who have no ideal what there talking about. RTR

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