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Mississippi State-Alabama Preview Capsule

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.

FACTS & FIGURES

This will be the 97th meeting in a series that dates back to 1896. Alabama has more games and wins against Mississippi State than against any other opponent. The Bulldogs did beat a top-ranked Crimson Tide team, 6-3, in 1980 to end a 22-game skid in the series. ... The Bulldogs are off to their best start since 1999, the only other time they've won their first seven games. ... Alabama has trailed only 15 seconds all season (to MSU rival Mississippi). Mississippi State has been behind 16:11, behind only Bama, Oregon (2:14) and Oregon State (15:30). ... Alabama's 11-game win streak is the nation's longest, and the Bulldogs' nine games ranks third, with Oregon in between. ... Mississippi State has rushed for at least 140 yards in every game but nobody has gained more than 80 against the Tide.