clear
Saturday November 25th, 2017 4:40AM

Late TD lifts No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi St 31-24

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining to lift No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi State 31-24 on Saturday night.

Alabama (10-0, 7-0 SEC, CFP No. 2) won its 10th straight game against Mississippi State, but this one was much more difficult than most of the others.

"We did a good job of staying together, being one and staying cool and calm," Hurts said. "We did enough."

Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3, CFP No. 16) pushed ahead 24-17 early in the fourth quarter on Jace Christmann's 25-yard field goal, but Alabama responded to tie it at 24 when Damien Harris ran for a 14-yard score with 9:49 left. Alabama had a chance to take the lead with about two minutes left, but a 40-yard field goal attempt by Andy Pappanastos banged off the left upright and fell harmlessly to the turf.

Mississippi State went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and Alabama took over with 1:09 remaining. That was more than enough time for the Tide, who drove six plays and 68 yards in 44 seconds for the game-winning score.

Alabama coach Nick Saban wasn't particularly pleased with parts of his team — especially on defense — but he was relieved it responded well to some adversity.

"Sometimes you need hard," Saban said. "If we're going to beat really good teams, if we're going to compete, we've got to learn how to compete in close games where every play counts. Where you've got to play every play for 60 minutes."

The game was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than a touchdown. Mississippi State pushed ahead 7-0 in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run by Aeris Williams. It was the first touchdown the Bulldogs had scored against Alabama since 2014 and the first time they'd taken the lead against the Tide since 2008.

Alabama's defense has been dominant for most of the season, but several injuries at linebacker throughout the season finally appeared to take a toll. Mississippi State's power running game gained 172 yards, but in the end Alabama was able to slow the Bulldogs down.

"It hurts," said Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who threw two Hail Mary attempts to no avail in the closing moments. "It doesn't matter who we lost to or how much we lost by, we lost a game we should have won."

THE TAKEAWAY

Alabama: The Crimson Tide found a way to survive arguably their toughest test of the season. Hurts completed 10 of 19 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Ridley caught five passes for 171 yards.

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs did just about everything right except for win the game. Nick Fitzgerald completed 13 of 24 passes for 158 yards and ran for 66 yards and a touchdown. Williams ran for 97 yards and two touchdowns.

UP NEXT

Alabama hosts Mercer next Saturday.

Mississippi State plays at Arkansas next Saturday.

___

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Late TD lifts No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi St 31-24
Jalen Hurts hit DeVonta Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds remaining to lift No. 1 Alabama over No. 18 Mississippi State 31-24
10:38PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Trend? College football players pop the question on-field
A number of college football players popped the question today
10:21PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trump calls Putin sincere, ex-US intelligence heads 'hacks'
President Donald Trump is back on the defensive over Russian election meddling, saying he considers President Vladimir Putin's denials sincere, dismissing former U.S. intelligence officials as "hacks" and accusing Democrats of trying to sabotage relations
10:19PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Defense carries No. 6 Wisconsin past No. 25 Iowa 38-14
Receiver Kendric Pryor scored twice, and No. 6 Wisconsin relied on stifling defense to overcome four turnovers and Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson's two touchdowns in a 38-14 win over the Hawkeyes
9:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Coach K wins 1,000th at No. 1 Duke, 99-69 over Utah Valley
Duke's Mike Krzyzewski became the first men's Division I coach to win 1,000 games at one school when his top-ranked Blue Devils beat Utah Valley 99-69.
9:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 4 Clemson wins ACC Atlantic with 31-14 victory over FSU
No. 4 Clemson headed back to Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with 31-14 win over Florida State
9:02PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
No. 11 Ohio State rebounds, routs No. 13 Michigan St 48-3
Tailback Mike Weber rushed for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help No. 11 Ohio State blow out Michigan State 48-3 on Saturday
5:08PM ( 5 hours ago )
McSorley sets all-time Penn State TD mark in win vs. Rutgers
Penn State QB Trace McSorley became Penn State's all-time touchdowns leader in a 35-6 win over Rutgers
4:47PM ( 5 hours ago )
Chiefs DT Miller arrested in Florida on battery charge
Jail records show that Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Roy Miller has been arrested in Florida on a domestic battery charge
1:24PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Football
AP source: 3 UCLA players stay in China; team returns to US
Person with knowledge of situation tells AP: UCLA team heading home from China without 3 players arrested on shoplifting charges
4:54PM ( 5 hours ago )
Defending champ No. 4 South Carolina opens with 99-31 win
A'ja Wilson scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds to lead No. 4 South Carolina to a 99-31 win over Alabama State
10:15PM ( 1 day ago )
Ex-track coach's lawyers to question ex-top Texas officials
Lawyers for a former women's track coach at the University of Texas have scheduled depositions with several former top school officials in her sex and race discrimination lawsuit
4:49PM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Buckeyes host Michigan St with Big Ten East up for grabs
No. 11 Ohio State will try to bounce back from its catastrophic loss to Iowa last week when No. 13 Michigan State visits
11:17AM ( 1 day ago )
Week 11 preview: Booking trips to championship weekend
Time to start filling those slots for championship weekend
1:56AM ( 1 day ago )
No change at top of CFP rankings; Miami poised to make move
Georgia, Alabama, Notre Dame and Clemson keep top 4 spots in CFP rankings; unbeaten Miami moves up to No. 7
1:08AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Trend? College football players pop the question on-field
A number of college football players popped the question today
10:21PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Trump calls Putin sincere, ex-US intelligence heads 'hacks'
President Donald Trump is back on the defensive over Russian election meddling, saying he considers President Vladimir Putin's denials sincere, dismissing former U.S. intelligence officials as "hacks" and accusing Democrats of trying to sabotage relations
10:19PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Tiny Texas town turns inward in wake of mass shooting
It's difficult for any community that's been blindsided by sudden horror to cope with grieving in the public eye. But for tiny Sutherland Springs, it's been a particular challenge
10:14PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Harassment case puts US Senate candidate under spotlight
A sexual harassment investigation into a sitting California senator is putting a fresh spotlight on a legislative leader who is running for a U.S. senate seat
9:59PM ( 45 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump offers to mediate on South China Sea
President Donald Trump is offering to serve as a mediator on the South China Sea territorial disputes as he meets with the president of Vietnam
9:47PM ( 56 minutes ago )