STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Cyrus Jones made his third consecutive start at cornerback opposite Deion Belue. Jones continues to fill in for Bradley Sylve, who's been out with a high ankle sprain.
Tide coach Nick Saban said the team didn't expect Sylve's recovery to take this long, but noted that Sylve has tweaked the ankle during practice and has been limited.
Tight end Brian Vogler scored his first career touchdown on an 18-yard reception from quarterback AJ McCarron.
McCarron evaded a sack and found Vogler, who broke a tackle and dove for the end zone. It was the Tide's only touchdown of the first half. He is the 10th different player to record a touchdown reception for Alabama this season.
Yeldon surpasses 2,000
With his 50-yard rush in the second quarter, T.J. Yeldon became the 18th player in program history to rush for 2,000 yards or more in a career. He finished the half with 91 yards, bringing his career total to 2,061.
Mandell with career long punt
Punter Cody Mandell, a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award, punted a career-long 63 yarder in the first quarter, surpassing his previous high of 61 in the season opener against Virginia Tech. This season, he has three punts of better than 60 yards and 11 that have traveled more than 50 yards in 30 attempts. He has placed 12 inside the opponent's 20-yard line while forcing six fair catches and five touchbacks.
Defense playing lights out
In the past 30 quarters of play, the Tide's defense has surrendered just four touchdowns (1 at Kentucky, 1 vs. Tennessee and 2 vs. LSU). In those seven games plus the first half of Saturday's game, the Tide is allowing 6.1 points per contest.
For the 10th time in its last 14 games, Alabama has held its opponent scoreless in the first half. In addition to Saturday's game, the Tide shutout Tennessee (Oct. 26, 2013), Arkansas (Oct. 19, 2013), Kentucky (Oct. 12, 2013), Georgia State (Oct. 5, 2013), Ole Miss (Sept. 28, 2013), Colorado State (Sept. 21, 2013), Notre Dame (Jan. 7, 2013), Auburn (Nov. 24, 2012) and Western Carolina (Nov. 17, 2012) during the first two quarters of play.
On Saturday, the Tide and Bulldogs met for the 98th time in school history. Alabama boasts a 76-18-3 record in the series. The Tide has won six straight in the series and 11 of the last 13 games. The Tide also holds a 16-4 record against the Bulldogs in Starkville and a 28-7-2 record in the state of Mississippi.
They were here
Unlike the Crimson Tide's showdown with LSU last week, they were no national media outlets on hand to witness the Tide take on Mississippi State.
Scouts from the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas Chiefs, and Buffalo Bills attended the game.
There was also a scout from the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. A representative from the Liberty Bowl was on hand.