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October 28, 2012

ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Tide not tested by unbeaten Bulldogs in 38-7 rout

(Continued)

TUSCALOOSA —

Yeldon led the Tide's rushing corps with 84 yards, while Kenyan Drake piled on 47 and a touchdown with the game already out of hand. Lacy only had 28 rushing yards on 10 carries.

As has been the case for Bama throughout the past two years, its defense was the real story in the team's latest blowout. The unit nearly claimed its third shutout of the season and reduced quarterback Tyler Russell and running back LaDarius Perkins' contributions to a minimum.

Mississippi State only threatened to score twice but both efforts were ultimately thwarted by clutch plays from the Tide D.

The first instance came on the Bulldogs' opening drive. After moving the chains with ease, they had to settle for a 31-yard field goal attempt, which was blocked by Dee Milliner, who burst around the left edge and laid out to get a piece of the ball.

The defense's other game-changer came in the form of a goalline stand from well inside the 5-yard line during the third quarter. Robert Lester stonewalled Perkins at the 1 on a second-down run and then picked off a pressured Russell in the end zone on the following play.

Mississippi State avoided a big-fat zero on the scoreboard with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Robert Johnson with 4:39 remaining in the contest.

From the punter to the kicker to the coverage men, Alabama's special teams were just as brilliant as its defense.

Cody Mandell pinned the Bulldogs inside their own 20 three times — two of those were inside the 5 — and Jeremy Shelley was successful on a 34-yard field goal.

Lester picked up a Bulldog punt that was inadvertently touched by a Mississippi State player in the fourth quarter, leading to Ely and Lacy's touchdown connection.

On the ensuing kickoff, Christion Jones forced a fumble that was recovered by Vinnie Sunseri. The Tide once again converted a turnover into six points when Drake scampered in from 3 yards out for the team's final score.

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