The phrase "trap game" is used to denote a game where the team that is an obvious favorite loses to an underdog because they might be looking ahead to a bigger opponent or are coming off of an emotional game the previous week.
Alabama could have been caught unawares at home by Mississippi State on Saturday night, with a road game at LSU on the docket next Saturday.
But this is Alabama under Nick Saban. There was no peeking ahead, as the Crimson Tide handily defeated the previously undefeated Bulldogs 38-7.
A.J. McCarron went 16 for 23 for 208 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman running back T.J. Yeldon added 84 yards rushing for the Crimson Tide as they ran their record to 8-0 (5-0 SEC West).
Mississippi State had a couple of red zone opportunities during the game, but a blocked field goal and an interception killed two potential scoring drives. Alabama yielded a meaningless touchdown late when the second and third stringers were on the field.
The game was played the way Alabama has played recently: jump on the opponent early and often, and then slowly suffocate them with defense and clock management. Alabama held the ball over 34 minutes in the game and forced Mississippi State to play catch up after racing out to a 24-0 halftime lead. And when the Tide know what you have to do and are going to do, they are just that much more dangerous.
The Crimson Tide held yet another opponent under 300 yards of total offense, and have only yielded that many yards from scrimmage to an opponent once since the 2011 Capital One Bowl (Georgia Southern, 2011).
Mississippi State falls to 7-1 (3-1 SEC West). The Bulldogs, who entered the game scoring 36.7 points per game and rushing for 181 yards per game were held way below those averages, as they churned out only 47 yards on 21 carries.
Mississippi State also turned the ball over three times after entering the game leading the nation in turnover margin at +17. The Tide did not cough the ball up at all.
A.J. McCarron did leave the game early in the fourth quarter. He went into the locker room and came back out, but sat out the rest of the way as the game was already well in hand.
The Tide will play LSU at 8:00 PM on CBS. The Bulldogs will face Texas A&M in Starkville, with game time still to be announced.