November 17, 2013

Alabama defense makes big plays when needed

STARKVILLE, Miss. | Even amid the clanging of cowbells and a raucous maroon-and-white crowd anxious for anything to stir it into a frenzy, the Alabama defense stayed calm Saturday night at Davis Wade Stadium.

While its offense struggled with consistency and committed four turnovers, the Crimson Tide defense never panicked and maintained its composure against the upset-minded Mississippi State Bulldogs.

"When we get put in tough positions, we stand strong," Alabama safety Landon Collins said. "We showed it on the field. That's how we're built to be. That's Bama ball."

In the fourth quarter, with Alabama holding a 20-7 advantage, the Crimson Tide defense withstood two Bulldog drives that started in Alabama territory after an interception and a fumble. Mississippi State converted just 4 of 15 third downs and was 0 of 3 on fourth down.

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