STARKVILLE, Miss. — Following its bye week, the Mississippi State football team is set to return to action Saturday when it hosts No. 5 Alabama inside Davis Wade Stadium at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Saturday’s game will mark the 106th meeting for the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide on the gridiron. Alabama leads the all-time series 85-17-3. MSU will be looking to avenge last year’s 41-0 loss to the Crimson Tide.
The Bulldogs (3-2, 1-1 SEC) come into the contest rested from a bye week after defeating then-No. 15 Texas A&M 26-22 two weeks ago.
Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers led the Bulldogs in their upset win over the Aggies with 408 yards passing and three touchdowns. On the year, he leads the Southeastern Conference with 372.4 yards per game. Nationally, he is seventh in yards passing (1,862), 12th in TD passes (14) and second in completion percentage (76%).
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Makai Polk is averaging an SEC-best 9.2 receptions per game and is coming off a game where he hauled in 13 catches for 126 yards receiving. On the year, Polk has made 46 catches for 430 yards receiving and four TDs.
Defensively, MSU ranks ninth nationally in run defense in allowing 89 yards rushing per game. The Bulldogs are anchored by redshirt junior linebacker Jett Johnson with 37 tackles and three tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Emmanuel Forbes has tallied 27 tackles and two interceptions. He is the SEC’s active career leader in interceptions with seven, which is also tied for 18th in the nation.
The Crimson Tide (5-1, 2-1 SEC) is coming off a 41-38 loss to unranked Texas A&M last week, snapping a 100-game win streak against unranked opponents.
Alabama is led by sophomore QB Bryce Yung, who has completed 136 of 196 passes (69.4%) for 1,734 yards passing, 20 TDs and three interceptions. Junior WR Jameson Williams leads Alabama with 27 catches for 510 yards receiving and five TDs. Redshirt senior running back Brian Robinson Jr. leads the Crimson Tide rushing attack with 97 carries for 526 yards rushing and six TDs.
Rogers and the Bulldogs will be facing an Alabama defense that has allowed just 195.2 yards passing per game, which ranks 34th in the nation. The pass rush for the Tide is led by sophomore linebacker Will Anderson Jr., who ranks third nationally with 11 tackles for loss for minus-37 yards. He is second on the team with 39 total tackles.
Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Greg McElroy (analyst) and Katie George (reporter) will be on the call.