#2 Alabama Crimson Tide at #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs - 1992
The Crimson Tide survive against the Bulldogs in a ESPN thriller.
The Bulldogs gave Alabama its hardest test of the entire season. In the first half it did not appear that would be the case. Alabama's first drive was an easy 67-yard march ending in a 23-yard shovel pass from Barker to Lassic for a touchdown. Mississippi State got the ball back, went nowhere, and attempted to punt, but Antonio Langham blocked the punt, recovered it at the MSU 5 and scored a touchdown to put Bama up 14-0. In the second quarter the Tide kicked two field goals and the Bulldogs kicked one, making the halftime score 20-3.
Alabama, which had not allowed any opponent to score more than 11 points in a game, led by 17 at the half. Then Mississippi State caught a break, picking off a Barker pass and returning it to the Alabama 11. A touchdown and a two-point conversion followed to make it 20-11. Bama went three and out on its next possession, the Bulldogs got the ball at the Tide 47, and they capitalized with a quick TD drive. Suddenly the score was 20-18. Bama got one first down, then punted again. Mississippi State drove down to the Alabama 1, but an illegal participation penalty pushed the ball back to the 16 and the Bulldogs settled for a field goal. Eighteen unanswered third quarter points gave the Bulldogs a 21-20 lead. It was only the third time all year Alabama had trailed, and it was the only time in the 1992 season that they trailed in the fourth quarter.
An interception ended one Alabama drive and a sack ended the next one. Finally a Mississippi State fumbled punt gave Alabama momentum. Barker completed a 24-yard pass to Prince Wimbley to advance the ball to the Bulldog 16, and a 26-yard field goal by Proctor made the score 23-21 with 8:10 left. Shortly thereafter George Teague intercepted a pass by MSU's Greg Plump, giving Alabama possession at the Bulldog 20. A five-play drive ended in a Chris Anderson TD run made the score 30-21 with 5:07 to go. Alabama stopped two Mississippi State drives in the waning minutes and the Tide escaped Starkville.