Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/19/13
The Alabama football team certainly had its struggles on Saturday night against Mississippi State in Starkville, Mississippi. But this game could actually benefit the Tide in many ways before they face the 6th ranked Auburn Tigers on November 30th for the annual Iron Bowl. Although the Tide played a sloppy game of football, this game, in a way, humbled the Tide– something that was needed in order to keep their 3-peat shot alive. Here are the top two takeaways from Saturday night’s matchup: Offensive line Throughout the majority of the game, the Tide struggled to create both a safe pocket for AJ McCarron and holes for the running backs. This created a lot of issues on the offensive side of the ball. McCarron was rushed, sacked, and pressured way too many times on Saturday night. The offensive line will have to work for the next 2 weeks to create a contained and safe pocket for McCarron, as Auburn will be rushing and blitzing him all night during the Iron Bowl. Also, TJ Yeldon and Kenyan Drake struggled several times to find holes for yardage because the offensive line was struggling to provide them. This will have to be addressed in the next two weeks, because if Alabama wants to beat Auburn, they’ll need to have a great running game to exhaust the defense. Defense There were numerous things the defense struggled with on Saturday night. Coverage and quickness seemed to be lacking in the game. Whether it be lack of focus this week, or season exhaustion, the Tide didn’t seem to be as upbeat as usual. The secondary will have to work hard over the next two weeks to prepare for Auburn. Nick Marshall knows that the secondary is a weakness for the Tide and will try to beat them up every chance he gets. CJ Mosley will have to continue being a fearless leader on the team; he will have to help create instability for Marshall so the Tide can notch its third win in a row against the Tigers. All in all, this game will very much benefit the Tide. Any team who has won 2 National Championships in a row needs a Miss State game to be humbled in knowing that they can be beat if they aren’t careful. Alabama will next face Chattanooga State on Saturday and Auburn the following week. With this win behind them, they will now focus on getting two more “W’s” on their win column. If there is one thing about Saban we all know and love, it’s him using games like today as fuel for the future….Fuel that will hopefully help bring home Bama’s 16th national title.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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