Blake Sims, T.J. Yeldon and No. 4 Alabama's relentless defense delivered on a big stage, and the Crimson Tide held off No. 1 Mississippi State 25-20 on Saturday.

The Tide (9-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference, No. 5 CFP) reasserted itself as a national title contender with a dominant first half and some clutch play in the fourth quarter.

Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs (9-1, 5-1, No. 1 CFP) kept fighting to keep their first-ever reign going for a sixth week. They couldn't conquer Alabama at raucous Bryant-Denny Stadium, though.

Mississippi State scored early in the fourth to make it a six-point game but Sims and Yeldon answered with a steady march to the end zone.

The Bulldogs produced a touchdown with 15 seconds left after a drive that took 3 precious minutes off the clock.

Alabama recovered the onside kick to secure its seventh straight win in the series.