Alabama–Mississippi State football rivalry

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Alabama–Mississippi State football rivalry
CrimsonTideAlogo.png Mississippi State Bulldogs.svg
Alabama Crimson Tide Mississippi State Bulldogs

Total meetings 99
Series record Alabama leads, 78–18–3
First meeting November 14, 1896
Alabama 20, Mississippi State 0
Last meeting November 15, 2014
Alabama 25, Mississippi State 20
Largest win Alabama, 59–0 (1922)
Longest win streak Alabama, 22 (1958–79)
Current win streak Alabama, 7 (2008–present)

The Alabama–Mississippi State football rivalry, sometimes referred to as the 90 Mile Drive[1][2] or the Battle for Highway 82,[3] is an American college football rivalry between the Alabama Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama and Mississippi State Bulldogs football team of Mississippi State University. Both universities are founding members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and are currently members of the SEC's Western Division. The two campuses are located approximately 90 miles apart, and are the two geographically closest SEC universities.

In 1935, MSU Coach Major Ralph Sasse, on "orders" from his team, went to Memphis, Tennessee, to select the first bulldog mascot. Ptolemy, a gift of the Edgar Webster family, was chosen and the Bulldogs promptly defeated Alabama 20–7.[4]

Alabama–Mississippi State is one of the Southeastern Conference's longest-running series, dating back to 1896. Aside from the Alabama–Ole Miss football rivalry, it also has been one of the league's most lopsided with Alabama officially leading the series 78–18–3. Despite this, the Bulldogs have won 8 times in Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium, which is tied with LSU for the most of any program.

Notable Games[edit]

  • 1940: #11 Mississippi State, 8-0-1 on the season, defeated the 7-1 #17 Crimson Tide 13-0 in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs forced 5 turnovers on downs and remained undefeated on the season.[5]
  • 1941: The Maroons defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa in September 14-0[6] on their way to winning the school's only football SEC Championship. Despite Mississippi State's head-to-head win and conference title, and the fact that Alabama finished #20 in the final AP Poll,[7] Alabama claims a national championship for this season. This has led to many Mississippi State fans and bloggers to clamor for the Bulldogs, who finished 16th in the final poll, to claim the title as well.[8]
  • 1956: The Crimson Tide snapped a 20-game losing streak by defeating the Maroons 13-12 in Tuscaloosa.[9]
  • 1974: 7-0 Alabama, ranked #4 at the time and the eventual SEC Champion, defeated 6-1 and #17 Mississippi State in a 35-0 rout in Tuscaloosa.[6]
  • 1976: The 6-1 Bulldogs, ranked #18, traveled to Tuscaloosa to face the 5-2 and #17 Crimson Tide, where Alabama won 34-17. Had the Bulldogs won, it would later had to forfeit anyway.[10]
  • 1980: In what is often named the biggest win in Mississippi State football history,[6][11] the Bulldogs upset the #1 and two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide 6-3 in Jackson, snapping Alabama's 28-game winning streak.[12] The Bulldogs held the prolific Tide wishbone offense to 116 yards on the ground, one third of its season average up to that point.[13] Trailing 6-3 in the final minute, Alabama drove to the MSU 4-yard-line before a big hit from Bulldog linebacker Tyrone Keys jarred the football loose, sealing the upset win for the Bulldogs.[14] After the game, Alabama coach Bear Bryant visited the Mississippi State locker room to congratulate the team for the win.[9] In 2007, College Football News' Pete Futiak named the game the 91st best ending in college football history since 1997.[15]
  • 1981: #8 Alabama avenged its loss from the previous year by defeating the #7 Bulldogs 13-10 in Tuscaloosa in the only top-10 matchup between the two teams.
  • 1986: #8 Alabama, coming off a loss to Penn State the week before, traveled to Starkville to take on the #19 Bulldogs. The Tide won a dominating 38-3 victory, outgaining the Bulldogs by nearly 400 yards. Bobby Humphrey rushed for a then-school-record 284 yards.[16]
  • 1996: Alabama, 8-1 and ranked #10, fell to the 3-5 Bulldogs 17-16 in Starkville, giving Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill his first win over his alma mater Alabama. Alabama, who missed an extra point earlier in the game, drove to Mississippi State 39-yard line in the final minute but turned the ball over on downs.[17] Alabama went on to win the SEC West anyway.
  • 1999: The Bulldogs, 8-0 and ranked #8, traveled to Tuscaloosa to take on the 7-2 #11 Crimson Tide, looking for their fourth straight win in the series. However, Alabama defeated MSU 19-7,[18] aided by three turnovers, a blocked punt, and what Mississippi State fans considered to be a pair of "questionable" holding penalties.[6] The win clinched the SEC West for the Crimson Tide and ended the Bulldogs' bid for their second undefeated season.
  • 2006: Mississippi State traveled to Tuscaloosa looking for its first SEC win of the season, while Alabama came in at 6-3. The game featured a pick-6 by each defense, and the Bulldogs stuffed Tide quarterback John Parker Wilson just outside of the goal line to end the first half. Anthony Dixon ran for 121 yards, and the Bulldog defense held the Tide out of the end zone in the second half to seal the upset win.[19]
  • 2007: The Bulldogs clinched their first bowl bid in 7 years by beating #21 Alabama 17-12.[20] The Bulldog defense held the Tide out of the end zone the entire game, and cornerback Anthony Johnson returned a John Parker Wilson pass for 100 yards and a touchdown with 4 seconds to go in the first half.
  • 2012: The Bulldogs traveled to Tuscaloosa with a #13 ranking and a 7-0 record, hoping to knock off defending national champion and #1-ranked Alabama. In the buildup to the game, Mississippi State fans used Twitter to display "#WeBelieve 8-0" messages from all over the world,[21][22] even including the Bear Bryant statue outside Bryant-Denny Stadium,[23] and many bloggers declared it to be the biggest game in Mississippi State's history.[11] However, the game did not live up to the hype—Alabama won handily, 38-7,[24] holding the Bulldogs to only 47 rushing yards.
  • 2014: The Bulldogs, undefeated and ranked #1 for the first time in school history, traveled to Tuscaloosa to face the 8–1 #5 Crimson Tide. Mississippi State had earned the #1 spot in all polls including the new College Football Playoff Rankings after defeating three top–10 teams in a row (#8 LSU, #6 Texas A&M, and #2 Auburn). The 99th game of the series between the two schools was considered by many to be the biggest game of the rivalry. After getting their opening points by tackling running back Josh Robinson in the Bulldogs' own endzone for a safety, Alabama went on to defeat the Bulldogs 25-20. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who had been considered a Heisman Trophy frontrunner for much of the 2014 season, became the conference leader in interceptions after throwing three picks during this game.

Game results[edit]

Alabama victories Mississippi State victories Ties / Forfeits / Vacated wins
Date Location Winner Score
November 14, 1896 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 20–0
November 16, 1901 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 45–0
November 8, 1902 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 27–0
October 16, 1903 Columbus, MS MSU 11–0
October 15, 1904 Columbus, MS Alabama 6–0
October 14, 1905 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 34–0
November 3, 1906 Starkville, MS Alabama 16–4
October 21, 1911 Columbus, MS Tie 6–6
October 18, 1912 Aberdeen, MS MSU 7–0
November 27, 1913 Birmingham, AL MSU 7–0
November 26, 1914 Birmingham, AL MSU 9–0
November 27, 1919 Birmingham, AL Alabama 14–6
November 25, 1920 Birmingham, AL Alabama 24–7
November 24, 1921 Birmingham, AL Tie 7–7
November 30, 1922 Birmingham, AL Alabama 59–0
October 31, 1925 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 6–0
October 9, 1926 Meridian, MS Alabama 26–7
October 29, 1927 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 13–7
October 13, 1928 Starkville, MS Alabama 46–0
October 10, 1931 Meridian, MS Alabama 53–0
October 1, 1932 Montgomery, AL Alabama 53–0
October 14, 1933 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 18–0
October 13, 1934 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 41–0
October 12, 1935 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 20–7
October 10, 1936 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 7–0
October 28, 1939 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 7–0
November 30, 1940 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 13–0
October 4, 1941 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 14–0
October 3, 1942 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 21–6
November 18, 1944 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 19–0
December 1, 1945 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 55–13
November 30, 1946 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 24–7
October 23, 1948 Starkville, MS Alabama 10–7
October 22, 1949 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 35–6
Date Location Winner Score
October 28, 1950 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 14–7
October 27, 1951 Starkville, MS Alabama 7–0
October 25, 1952 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 42–19
October 24, 1953 Tuscaloosa, AL Tie 7–7
October 23, 1954 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 12–7
October 22, 1955 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 26–7
October 27, 1956 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 13–12
October 26, 1957 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 25–13
October 25, 1958 Starkville, MS Alabama 9–7
October 31, 1959 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 10–0
October 29, 1960 Starkville, MS Alabama 7–0
November 4, 1961 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 24–0
November 3, 1962 Starkville, MS Alabama 20–0
November 2, 1963 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 20–19
October 31, 1964 Jackson, MS Alabama 23–6
October 30, 1965 Jackson, MS Alabama 10–7
October 29, 1966 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 27–14
November 4, 1967 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 13–0
November 2, 1968 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 20–13
November 1, 1969 Jackson, MS Alabama 23–19
October 31, 1970 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 35–6
October 30, 1971 Jackson, MS Alabama 41–10
November 4, 1972 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 58–14
November 3, 1973 Jackson, MS Alabama 35–0
November 2, 1974 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 35–0
November 1, 1975 Jackson, MS Alabama 21–10
October 30, 1976 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 34–17
October 29, 1977 Jackson, MS Alabama 37–7
November 4, 1978 Birmingham, AL Alabama 35–14
November 3, 1979 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 24–7
November 1, 1980 Jackson, MS MSU 6–3
October 31, 1981 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 13–10
October 30, 1982 Jackson, MS Alabama 20–12
October 29, 1983 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 35–18
Date Location Winner Score
November 3, 1984 Jackson, MS Alabama 24–20
November 2, 1985 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 44–28
November 1, 1986 Starkville, MS Alabama 38–3
October 31, 1987 Birmingham, AL Alabama 21–18
October 29, 1988 Starkville, MS Alabama 53–34
November 4, 1989 Birmingham, AL Alabama 23–10
November 3, 1990 Starkville, MS Alabama 22–0
November 2, 1991 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 13–7
November 14, 1992 Starkville, MS Alabama 30–21
November 13, 1993 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 36–25
November 12, 1994 Starkville, MS Alabama 29–25
November 11, 1995 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 14–9
November 16, 1996 Starkville, MS MSU 17–16
November 15, 1997 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 32–20
November 14, 1998 Starkville, MS MSU 26–14
November 13, 1999 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 19–7
November 11, 2000 Starkville, MS MSU 29–7
November 10, 2001 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 24–17
November 9, 2002 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 28–14
November 8, 2003 Starkville, MS Alabama 38–0
November 6, 2004 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 30–14
November 5, 2005 Starkville, MS Alabama 17–0
November 4, 2006 Tuscaloosa, AL MSU 24–16
November 10, 2007 Starkville, MS MSU 17–12
November 15, 2008 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 32–7
November 14, 2009 Starkville, MS Alabama 31–3
November 13, 2010 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 30–10
November 12, 2011 Starkville, MS Alabama 24–7
October 27, 2012 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 38–7
November 16, 2013 Starkville, MS Alabama 20–7
November 15, 2014 Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama 25–20
Series: Alabama leads 77–17–3
† Alabama was later forced to forfeit as part of NCAA penalties.
‡ Alabama forced to vacate victories as part of NCAA penalties.


References[edit]

  1. ^ utvolsfootball.blogspot.com: The 25 Best SEC Football Rivalries
  2. ^ Sporting News Blog: SEC Football a History
  3. ^ BleacherReport.com: Croom Looks For Third Straight Win In 'The Battle For Highway 82'
  4. ^ "Mississippi State Traditions". 
  5. ^ sparky39762. "Video: 1940 Mississippi State vs Alabama". YouTube.com. 
  6. ^ a b c d Metal Building Dawg (2012-10-23). "History of MSU vs. Alabama". ForWhomtheCowbellTolls.com. 
  7. ^ "1941 Final AP Football Poll". CollegePollArchive.com. 
  8. ^ Sutton, Justin (2012-06-24). "Mississippi State Football History: 1941-Our National Title?". ForWhomtheCowbellTolls.com. 
  9. ^ a b Schexnayder, C.J. (2010-11-09). "Alabama vs Mississippi State: A Historical Retrospective". RollBamaRoll.com. 
  10. ^ "Bulldogs forced to forfeit 19 football games". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. May 24, 1978. p. 19. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b The Croom Diaries (2012-10-27). "Is This the Biggest Game in MSU History?". MaroonAndWhiteNation.com. 
  12. ^ "Series Preview: Alabama vs. Mississippi State". RollTide.com. 2008-11-13. 
  13. ^ Schexnayder, C.J. (2013-03-18). "What the End of A Crimson Tide Dynasty Looks Like". TeamSpeedKills.com. 
  14. ^ Anders, Mike. "Mississippi State---Alabama 1980 end of game". YouTube.com. 
  15. ^ Futiak, Pete. "The greatest endings in college football history from 1970 to the present". CFN.Scout.com. 
  16. ^ "1986 Game Recaps". 1987 Alabama Football Media Guide (PDF). Tuscaloosa, Alabama: UA Athletics Media Relations Office. 1987. 
  17. ^ "Mississippi State Stuns Alabama". LATimes.com. 1996-11-17. 
  18. ^ "Friday Flashback: Alabama 19, Mississippi State 7 (Nov. 13, 1999) Tide defense forces three turnovers and blocks one punt in the win". RollTide.com. 2009-11-13. 
  19. ^ "Mississippi State stuns Bama in Tuscaloosa for first SEC win". ESPN.com. 2006-11-04. 
  20. ^ "Miss. State earns second straight win over Bama". ESPN.com. 2007-11-10. 
  21. ^ McDaniel, Alex (2012-10-25). "#WeBelieve: Mississippi State prepares for Alabama matchup, sparks Twitter trend". ClarionLedger.com. The Clarion-Ledger. 
  22. ^ cristilmethod (2012-10-26). "#WeBelieve at the Today Show". ForWhomtheCowbellTolls.com. 
  23. ^ Gribble, Andrew (2012-10-27). "Alabama's Bear Bryant statue the latest to receive 'We Believe' treatment from Mississippi State fans". AL.com. 
  24. ^ "Top-ranked Alabama rides fast start to rout of Mississippi State". ESPN.com. 2012-10-27.