Mississippi State’s Storylines vs. Alabama

Published 2:22 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State is set to travel down Highway 82, across the state line over to Alabama for a Top-25 matchup.

The No. 24 Bulldogs will face the No. 6 Crimson Tide in a 6 p.m. CT game on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The contest will be televised by ESPN with Chris Fowler (play-by-play) and Kirk Herbstreit (analyst), as well as Holly Rowe and Todd McShay (reporters) on the call.

Fans can listen to live audio of the game by CLICKING HERE.

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Mississippi State’s Storylines vs. Alabama

  • QB Will Rogers has tied Dak Prescott’s (2012-15) MSU career record with 70 passing touchdowns. He needs 337 yards to match Prescott’s career passing yards record (9,376).
  • Four current Bulldogs are now among the top 10 in MSU career history for total receptions: RB Jo’quavious Marks (2nd, 173), RB Dillon Johnson (8th, 132), WR Austin Williams (9th, 131) and WR Jaden Walley (10th, 121).
  • WR Austin Williams caught the 16th touchdown pass of his career at No. 22 Kentucky (Oct. 15). He is now one shy of being tied for fourth in MSU career history.
  • CB Emmanuel Forbes has four interceptions in his last three games, including two returned for touchdowns. He tied the SEC career record with his fifth pick-six at No. 22 Kentucky (Oct. 15).
  • Forbes leads the SEC with five interceptions and 11 total passes defended. He boasts the No. 4 coverage grade (85.5) in the conference per PFF. His 82.7 overall defensive grade ranks eighth.
  • The Bulldogs lead the SEC with nine interceptions, which is tied for 14th in the nation, and are third in the league with 33 pass defenses this season.
  • LB Tyrus Wheat now has 15.5 career sacks, which is 0.5 shy of cracking the MSU career top 10, and his 0.53 career sacks per game mark ranks 17th among active players.
  • Through seven games in 2022, MSU is outscoring opponents 66-7 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs are 12-4 when scoring first under Mike Leach.
  • MSU leads the nation in red zone touchdown percentage (90.91 percent) and red zone passing touchdown percentage (63.64 percent) and is tied for the FBS lead in points per red zone drive (5.59).
  • LB Nathaniel Watson led the Bulldogs in tackles at No. 22 Kentucky (Oct. 15) with a career-high 17, including nine in the first half alone. That total is tied for the 14th-most tackles in a game by a Bulldog since 1988.
  • The Bulldogs have scored on 18 straight red zone trips with 15 straight touchdowns.
  • RB Jo’quavious Marks has caught a pass in 30 consecutive games, which is the second-longest active streak in the SEC and tied for No. 14 nationally. He has at least one reception in every game of his collegiate career. Marks is fifth among active players nationally, averaging 5.77 receptions per game in his career.
  • Head coach Mike Leach and assistant Mason Miller‘s offensive lines since 2018 lead the nation in lowest tackles for loss percentage allowed (6.7 percent) and are tied for fifth in sacks percentage allowed (3.6 percent).
  • Rogers has thrown for 300-plus yards and at least three touchdowns in 14 of his 29 career games. The closest active player to him since 2020 is Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman at 10 games.
  • Rogers has tossed a touchdown in 25 of his last 26 games with 69 scores in that span. Since 2020, Rogers has tossed multiple touchdowns in 16 different games, which trails only Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker (19) and Alabama’s Bryce Young (18) among active SEC quarterbacks.
  • In 26 career starts, Rogers has thrown just 16 interceptions despite having 1,279 passing attempts (1.26 percent).
  • The Bulldogs are running the ball at the highest clip (93.0 ypg) of a Leach-coached team since the 2016 Washington State team (120.0 ypg). State already has 19 runs of 10-plus yards through seven games after posting just 23 in 13 games last year and 20 in 11 games in 2020.
  • Nine different Bulldogs have caught a touchdown this season, which is tied for third in the FBS. Only NC State (12) and North Carolina (10) have had more receivers score.
  • MSU is leading all Power 5 teams in yards after catch once again (1,380) after leading the nation in 2021.
  • The Bulldogs and Arizona are the only teams in the nation with three games of 400 or more passing yards.
  • WR Caleb Ducking is one of three SEC players and 33 players nationally to turn in multiple receiving touchdowns in multiple games this season. He has caught a touchdown in five games, which is tied for the FBS lead.
  • WR Lideatrick Griffin is fifth nationally in yards per kick return (31.2). Griffin’s career average (33.3) is tops among active FBS players and would exceed the school record by 6.6 yards.
  • The Bulldogs have a 90.8 special teams grade from PFF, which ranks third in the FBS.
  • The Bulldogs have collected at least one takeaway in 25 of 31 games under defensive coordinator Zach Arnett.
  • State forced a turnover in every game of the 2022 season thus far (7), matching its longest streak under Arnett. MSU’s 14 turnovers forced in 2022 lead the SEC and are tied for No. 10 nationally.
  • MSU has 31 total picks in 31 games under Arnett. The Bulldogs have nine multi-interception games and are 9-0 in them. Ten active players have collected 27 total interceptions in their careers.
  • LB Jett Johnson is second in the SEC in total tackles (67) and 20th nationally in tackles per game (9.6) this season.
  • Johnson has four double-digit tackle games this season and six in his career, which are the 11th-most by any Bulldog since 1988.
  • Under Mike Leach, the Bulldogs are 12-0 when scoring at least 30 points and 12-4 when scoring first.