Mississippi State-Alabama Preview Capsule

Associated Press Published: October 25, 2012
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No. 13 Mississippi St. (7-0, 3-0 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 4-0), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Alabama by 24.

Series Record: Alabama leads 74-18-3 (including a forfeit and a vacated win).

KEY MATCHUP

Alabama QB AJ McCarron, the nation's highest rated passer, versus the Mississippi State secondary. McCarron carries a school-record string of 239 passes without an interception against a veteran starting defensive backfield with a collective 39 career picks and eight touchdown returns. Shutdown CB Johnthan Banks has four interceptions and hasn't allowed a touchdown catch.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mississippi St.: QB Tyler Russell. He has directed a balanced offense and been very efficient like McCarron, with 15 touchdown passes against one interception. Russell has made big strides since Alabama held him to 110 passing yards last season. He'll face the nation's top defense and a strong secondary, led by CB Dee Milliner.

Alabama: RB Eddie Lacy. Lacy and backfield mate T.J. Yeldon have combined for three 100-yard rushing performances in the last two games. He has a slight edge over Yeldon of 5 yards and one touchdown on the season, and had two touchdowns and 96 yards playing behind Trent Richardson in the last meeting.

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