STARKVILLE, Miss. – Derrick Henry ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama used a season-high nine sacks on defense to beat No. 20 Mississippi State 31-6 on Saturday night.
Alabama (9-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 2 CFP) easily survived its last major test before the Iron Bowl in two weeks. The Tide shook off a slow start thanks to three long touchdowns in the second quarter, starting with a 69-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones.
Calvin Ridley scored on a 60-yard touchdown catch from Jake Coker, and Derrick Henry ran for a 74-yard touchdown as Alabama built an insurmountable 21-3 halftime lead.
Henry added a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3, No. 17 CFP) lost to the Tide for the eighth straight season. Dak Prescott threw for 300 yards, but the Bulldogs never found the end zone.
Alabama's nine sacks were the most for the program since 1998 against Vanderbilt. Coker completed 15 of 25 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
Mississippi State did a lot of things well on offense during the first half — except for get into the end zone. The Bulldogs outgained the Tide 254-180 before halftime but squandered a few scoring opportunities.
A fourth-and-goal at the 1 was stuffed when Prescott ran into Alabama's defensive line and a 50-yard field goal try fell several yards short. Near the end of the first half the Bulldogs' offense was on the move again, but Alabama picked up its fifth and sixth sacks to push Mississippi State out of scoring range.