Top 25 football • McCarron has thrown 18 touchdown passes this season for Alabama.
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Tuscaloosa, Ala. • AJ McCarron passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 1 Alabama reached the end zone on its first three possessions in a 38-7 victory over No. 13 Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) quickly turned the meeting of unbeaten SEC West teams into a mismatch, rolling toward a national title game rematch at No. 6 LSU.
The Bulldogs (7-1, 3-1) came in averaging 36.7 points a game but didn't score until the final minutes. They had been leading the nation in turnover margin but lost two fumbles and an interception.
McCarron completed 16 of 23 passes before sitting out the fourth quarter. He headed to the locker room briefly early in the quarter but returned to the sideline. Alabama coach Nick Saban said McCarron bruised his back but will be fine for LSU.
The Tide now has won the past five meetings, and this one turned into more of the same, despite considerably more hype.
The Bulldogs had started 7-0 for only the second time in program history. Instead of proving they were legitimate SEC contenders, this game showed they have a ways to go.
McCarron hit Kenny Bell in stride for a 57-yard touchdown to cap a drive that started at Alabama's 4. He then found tight end Michael Williams for a 9-yard score early in the second quarter.
His 18 touchdowns tie him with John Parker Wilson for second most in school history, two behind Greg McElroy's single-season record.
T.J. Yeldon rushed for 84 yards on 10 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown. The subs tacked on two touchdowns after turnovers in the fourth quarter.