STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State gave top-ranked Alabama a fight for the majority of Saturday night, but stifling defense and recovery from errors ultimately gave the Crimson Tide (10-0, 7-0 SEC) a 20-7 victory over the Bulldogs (4-6, 1-5).
MSU's defense put forth one of its best performances of the year, limiting the Crimson Tide to its lowest point total of 2013. MSU was led by true freshman defensive lineman Chris Jones and sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun. Jones had a sack and a tackle for loss. Calhoun picked off Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron twice as the Bulldog defense forced four turnovers over the course of the game. Kendrick Market led all MSU tacklers with 10 stops. He also forced a fumble.
Offensively, MSU was led by senior quarterback Tyler Russell, who completed 15-of-24 passes for 144 yards, and junior tight end Malcolm Johnson, who caught six passes for 84 yards.
State's lone score of the night, early in the third quarter, came when offensive lineman Charles Siddoway recovered a loose MSU fumble in the end zone. At the time, it trimmed Alabama's lead to 10-7.
MSU returns to action next Saturday at Arkansas on SEC TV in an 11:21 a.m. CT kickoff.