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The three keys to beating Alabama as Les Koenning sees it

Mississippi State offensive coordinator Les Koenning will take the Bulldog offense to Tuscaloosa Saturday night to square off against Alabama in a battle of the unbeatens. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30pm ET.

According to Koenning, in order to get out with a win, they'll have to win three key phases of the game.

"The No. 1 thing you have to be aware of when you're playing Alabama is the turnover ratio. They're an opportunistic offense, a lot like ourselves. With turnovers, it's a lot easier to get in the end zone." Koenning told AL.com

Alabama ranks third nationally in turnover margin, forcing an average of two turnovers per game (+14 on the season). In their first seven games, the Tide have taken the ball away 20 times, converting an impressive 15 of those into touchdowns.

"This will be one of those patented games that we have in the SEC. Field position will be a must. Third-down conversions will be a must and taking care of the ball will be a must." Koenning explained.

Third down conversions are another area that Alabama has excelled in this season, ranking second nationally. The Crimson Tide have allowed opponents to convert on just 24 of their 96 attempts (25%). Also pretty impressive.

Write that down. Turnover ratio, field position, and third down conversions will be three areas of emphasis for the Bulldogs on Saturday night. They'll have their work cut out for them on all three sides of the ball

You'll be able to catch the game on ESPN. Should be a good one.

 

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.