Mississippi State-Alabama grades: WR ArDarius Stewart shines in Tide win

The highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Tide's win over the Bulldogs.

| 3 weeks ago
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Mississippi State-Alabama grades: WR ArDarius Stewart shines in Tide win


Alabama Crimson Tide 51, Mississippi State Bulldogs 3

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Tide’s win over the Bulldogs:

Alabama Crimson Tide

Quarterback grade: Jalen Hurts, 72.3

This was a game where the Alabama offense was set up to get the ball quickly into their playmakers hands. Hurts and backup quarterback Cooper Bateman combined for 397 passing yards, but 69.8 percent of those yards came in the form of yards after the catch by the Alabama receivers. Hurts was efficient under pressure, attempting three passes on the seven plays where he was under pressure. He went two-for-three on those throws, but was more content to take off and run, picking up first downs both with his arm and legs.

Top offensive grades

TE O.J. Howard, 89.5
C Bradley Bozeman, 79.2
WR ArDarius Stewart, 78.7
RB Joshua Jacobs, 78.0
LT Cam Robinson, 77.9

Stewart provides the spark

Of all the receivers to make things happen after the catch, none were more impressive than ArDarius Stewart, who picked up 111 of his 156 yards after the catch. He’ll be disappointed to have dropped two passes, but still finished the game having averaged 3.30 yards per route run from his snaps as a receiver. His three touchdowns will deservedly get the attention, but his work after the catch is what provided the spark for the Alabama offense from early in the game.

Top defensive grades

DI Dalvin Tomlinson, 81.9
LB Reuben Foster, 81.2
S Tony Brown, 80.7
DI Da’Ron Payne, 80.2
DI Jonathan Allen, 78.4

Another strong team effort

The true strength of the Alabama defense this year has been how good they have been as a unit, as well as having superstars at every level. In this game Dalvin Tomlinson proved far too much for right guard Deion Calhoun in the running game from early on in the game, while Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson combined for two sacks and five hurries to provide the consistent pressure they have become known for this year. Interestingly, Marlon Humphrey once again gave up a long reception during an otherwise shut out day. Humphrey has given up just 26 receptions so far this year, but has done so at 18.0 yards per catch.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

Quarterback grade: Nick Fitzgerald, 64.0

Fitzgerald didn’t play well in this game, but it wasn’t simply his fault. While he completed just 30.3 percent of his passes, five of his 23 incompletions came as the result of dropped passes. That included a pair of deep passes that could have provided a spark to the Mississippi State offense. Pressure is where he really struggled, and he found himself under pressure on 16 of his 36 drop-backs, completing just 15.4 percent of his passes when that happened.

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Top offensive grades

RB Aeris Williams, 71.9
C Jamaal Clayborn, 71.0
WR Donald Gray, 70.7
WR Malik Dear, 70.6
RT Justin Senior, 68.7

Senior’s biggest test

Mississippi State’s right tackle Justin Senior has been one of the best right tackles in the nation so far this year, and had allowed just two sacks and four hurries in pass protection coming into this game. Alabama was always going to represent his biggest test of the year, with Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson making up just two of their talent pass-rushers. By the time the game was done he had allowed a sack, a hit and two hurries, giving him a pass blocking efficiency rating of 92.6, compared with his 98.4 rating that ranked 14th in the nation coming into the game.

Top defensive grades

CB Jamoral Graham, 84.9
CB Lashard Durr, 74.8
CB Cedric Jiles, 74.1
CB Jamal Peters, 71.2
CB Chris Rayford, 67.6

Graham’s big day

While Alabama passed for 397 yards, they used such a variety of cornerbacks in the game that several of them wound up having solid games. None were more impressive than Jamoral Graham though, who gave up just one reception for three yards and came away with an interception. From 20 snaps in coverage, he allowed just 0.15 yards per coverage snap, and was the stand out on the Mississippi State defense.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

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