What Mississippi State, Joe Moorhead said after Alabama's 24-0 victory

Mississippi State's defense the first to keep Alabama under 500 yards of total offense, 29 points

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — If you believe in moral victories, No. 16 Mississippi State may have scored one at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

At least the defense did.

The Bulldogs were the first team to hold Alabama to under 500 yards this season, giving up 205. The 24 points were also a season low for the Crimson Tide.

But offense never scored.

Here's what the Bulldogs (6-4, 2-4 SEC) had to say about the game afterward:

Head Coach Joe Moorhead

“First and foremost, you have to tip your cap to Coach Saban, his team and his program. That's a heck of a ball club right there. And from a program standpoint, that should be what motivates us every single day. You want to know what the best team in the SEC looks like? And a team to compete for a national championship? That's it. So, we wake up every day, and that's what we're chasing and that's the standard and the type of team we want to become.

“I think certainly, defensively, we continue to play well. We continue to fight our tails off. You know, we held them under 350 yards. It was most prominent bowing their back on that last drive and keeping them out of the end zone. That's the type of pride and physicality we play with defensively. We certainly gave ourselves an opportunity with how we played.

“Offensively, certainly two games in a row now they've pitched a shutout, and we're not going to beat anybody by scoring zero points. Had some opportunities throughout the game, but too many miscues. I mean guys open, balls being snapped early, but when you're not running it well and you're not moving it in the air and you're not creating explosive plays against a team like this, you give yourself a hard time to win.

“Special teams weren't very special. We've got to find a way to be better there. I thought our punting improved at times. We had a kid drop a punt. There's things in those ways when you're playing an opponent like this, the margin of error is small, that aren't going to lie to you in a game like this against an opponent like this at their place.”

On if he considered challenging the no-fumble call on Alabama’s first drive:

“I considered challenging it, but the information I got from my guys up in the booth who saw it and had a great view of it said that the guy was down and it wasn't going to be overturned, so I trust those guys up in the booth to get that information and they said the guy was down.”

On Leo Lewis’ absence from the game:

“Leo didn't travel. Leo's sick. He got an illness that prevented him from coming.”

On the premature snaps in tonight’s game:

“One, it was loud. Two, we worked on it all week once again, and I don't want to say Elgton (Jenkins) was jumpy, but I mean we were working off a clap gage, and he said he heard something that sounded like a clap and the thing got snapped, so certainly those are things you get positive first down plays, two of those happened, push you into second and long. Can't be behind the sticks against these guys, and it happened twice. That's two too many times.”

Linebacker Willie Gay

“We know we started off slow and gave up a lot of plays in the run game. We knew we had to bounce back in the second half, and that's exactly what we did in giving up only three points.”

On two sacks and an interception:

“I knew I had to step up. I was just trying to do my job and help my team do whatever we could. For the interception, I was showing I was blitzing and he (Tua) just threw it right to me. I didn't know what to do when I caught it; I was kind of surprised.”

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald

“No one's happy, but we're going to put it behind us. We're going to wake up tomorrow and watch the film and see what we can improve on.”

On his play in today’s game:

“I think I played ok, just not well enough. As a whole team, we didn't play well enough and as an offense we didn't capitalize on the field position, didn't capitalize on the play-calling. We took too many steps back