Who will be Alabama’s X-Factor player for the Mississippi State showdown?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Alabama will take on Mississippi State, in what many Crimson Tide faithful will hope to be a rebound game. Alabama generally performs very well in games following a loss, and as long as they perform as well as we think they can, it shouldn’t be much of a problem getting past the Bulldogs with a win.

While Mississippi State has a defense that isn’t statistically off-the-charts, they are underrated to a certain degree. Their LB play has been pretty decent, led by junior Jett Johnson, who leads the team in tackles with 29 in total.

The Bulldogs’ defense, as a collective unit, has allowed 89 rushing yards per game and just three yards per carry,

This will lead us to my pick for Alabama’s X-Factor heading into the Mississippi State game on Saturday.

Brian Robinson Jr

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

My X-Factor for Alabama against Mississippi State is Brian Robinson Jr. Robinson has picked up 526 yards on 97 carries on the year, which adds up to a very impressive 5.4/ypc. If those numbers aren’t an indication of the need to give him more touches, I’m not sure what would be. He’s made it into the end-zone six times on the campaign, but the number would likely be higher had he been utilized properly at certain points during the season.

Getting Robinson the ball is one of my keys for the game if Alabama wants to leave Starkville with a win. Robinson should get 25 touches, at minimum. If he’s averaging just over five yards per carry, you can’t go wrong with this seemingly obvious strategy. Running it between the tackles is vital in this Bill O’Brien offense to open up the passing lanes, and Robinson’s build and balanced mix of speed and power makes him the perfect candidate. When DBs and LBs cheat down because they fear the run-game, an over the top pass is high-percentage. Pound through the trenches enough and the passing game will light up the scoreboard.

Giving Robinson the ball in the red-zone is another key. Last week, we saw pass plays inside the five yard line, which I’m not used to seeing by a Nick Saban-led football team. I never question the leadership of Saban, who will go down as the greatest football coach of all-time, but something has to give with the red-zone play-calling.

The Crimson Tide should be able to get back to the basics in this game against the Bulldogs, and the basics start in the running-game.

Stay tuned to Roll Tide Wire for continued coverage of the Alabama Crimson Tide!

Contact/Follow us @RollTideWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Alabama news, notes and opinion. You can also follow Layne Gerbig on Twitter @LayneG_29