SATURDAY, OCT. 31, 2020 • BRYANT-DENNY STADIUM • TUSCALOOSA, ALA.
FIRST TIME STARTERS: The Crimson Tide had one student-athlete make his first career start in tonight’s contest with Mississippi State as defensive back Brian Branch got the nod. Branch joins a collection of 12 players that have made their first career start this season. That group of 12 includes: Slade Bolden and Charlie Scott (Tennessee); DeMarcco Hellams (Georgia); Christopher Allen and John Metchie III (Ole Miss); and Chase Allen, Will Anderson Jr., Emil Ekiyor Jr., Sam Johnson, Malachi Moore, Carl Tucker and Daniel Wright (Missouri).
142-8 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama is 142-8 (.947) when leading at the half. The Crimson Tide has held the lead in 60 of its last 78 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season. UA is also 126-4 (.969) when leading by seven or more points at the break during the Saban era.
STACKING UP 100s: DeVonta Smith eclipsed the 100-yard plateau in the first half of tonight’s game. Alabama’s explosive offense has produced nine individual 100-plus yard receiving performances through five and a half games this season, including at least one 100-plus yard receiver in every game. The Crimson Tide has also had multiple players in the same game over the 100-yard mark in three of five contests so far. For perspective, Alabama’s offense produced 11 100-plus yard efforts through 13 games last season and did so 13 times in 15 games during 2018.
FIRST-HALF 100s: DeVonta Smith recorded 159 yards receiving in the first half of this evening’s contest with Mississippi State. With the senior’s 159-yard half, Crimson Tide wideouts have totaled 100-plus yards in the first half on nine occasions in UA’s last 19 games, including the first three games to start the year and four of six contests overall in 2020.
SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: Alabama extended its school record for consecutive games with a score to 261 thanks to Will Reichard’s field goal from 40 yards out on the Tide’s first drive of the night. The Crimson Tide was last held off the scoreboard in a 9-0 loss to Auburn on Nov. 18, 2000. Entering this even, Alabama owned a 202-55 (.786) record over the course of the current streak.
SMITH REWRITING ALABAMA RECORD BOOKS: Wide receiver DeVonta Smith entered tonight’s game with 163 catches for 2,665 yards and 27 touchdowns. He finished the first half with nine catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Smith remains in fifth for career catches and second for touchdowns while moving up to sole possession of third place for career receiving yards with 2,825. He is now trailing only DJ Hall (2,923) and Amari Cooper (3,463).
STINGY FIRST-HALF DEFENSE: The Alabama defense limited Mississippi State to only 38 yards of offense through the first half. That total is the fewest yards allowed in the first half by a UA defense since the 2016 team limited Auburn to only 31 yards on Nov. 26. The Crimson Tide has also outgained the Bulldogs by 299 yards through two halves of play.