CFN Take: Miss State Gets By Ole Miss In OT
Mississippi State Bulldogs 2013 ... Head Coach: Dan Mullen
at Mississippi State 17, Ole Miss 10 OT
| 2013 Record: 6-6|
8/31 Ok St (in Houston) L 21-3
9/7 Alcorn State W 51-7
9/14 at Auburn L 24-20
9/21 Troy W 62-7
9/28 OPEN DATE
10/5 LSU L 59-26
10/12 Bowling Green W 21-20
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 Kentucky W 28-22
11/2 at South Carolina L 34-16
11/9 at Texas A&M L 51-41
11/16 Alabama L 20-7
11/23 at Arkansas W 24-17 OT
11/30 Ole Miss W 17-10 OT
Basically … Mississippi State was saved by an injured Dak Prescott, who stepped up in the fourth quarter to lead the way to a 36-yard Evan Sobiesk field goal late in the fourth, and then ran for a three-yard score in overtime. Ole Miss got down to the 11 on its overtime chance, but Nickoe Whitley forced a Bo Wallace fumble, the Bulldogs recovered and got the sixth win needed to become bowl eligible. MSU scored first on a one-yard Josh Robinson run in the first quarter, but the offense sputtered throughout the game. Ole Miss didn’t get much from its offense with Anthony Standifer recovering a blocked punt in the end zone and Andrew Ritter hitting a 22-yard field goal.
- Ole Miss turned it over four times with Bo Wallace throwing three picks, and Mississippi State turned it over twice.
- Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott completed 11-of-20 passes for 115 yards, and ran nine times for 29 yards and a score.
- Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace completed 26-of-40 passes for 182 yards and three picks, and he ran 12 times for 31 yards.
- Ole Miss gained 318 yards, and Mississippi State was held to 296.
Mississippi State 24, at Arkansas 17 OT
Basically … Mississippi State kicker Devon Bell missed a 42-yard field goal at the end of regulation, but Damian Williams made up for it with a 25-yard touchdown run in overtime. The Bulldog defense held on Arkansas’ possession to get the win and keep bowl hopes alive. The Hogs took a 10-0 lead helped by an eight-yard Javontee Herndon touchdown run, and took the lead late in the third on a 22-yard Julian Horton run, but Mississippi State hung around with a 30-yard LaDarius Perkins touchdown catch late in the first half and tied it in the fourth on a five-yard Jameon Lewis five-yard grab.
- Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell completed 18-of-28 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.
- Arkansas QB Brandon Allen completed 10-of-17 passes for 114 yards and a pick.
- Mississippi State RB Josh Robinson ran 17 times for 101 yards.
- 11 different Hogs ran the ball for 225 yards and two scores.
Alabama 20, at Mississippi State 7
Basically … Alabama wasn’t sharp, but it wasn’t threatened after a Brian Vogler 18-yard touchdown catch with 20 seconds to play in the first half. Mississippi State pulled within three on a fumble recovery in the end zone by tackle Charles Siddoway, but that was it for the Bulldog offense. Kevin Norwood gave the Tide a comfortable lead with an 11-yard touchdown catch, and Cade Foster hit his second field goal.
- The Tide outgained Mississippi State 383 yards to 197
- Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon ran 24 times for 160 yards. AJ McCarron completed 18-of-32 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns with two picks
- Mississippi State S Kendrick Market made ten tackles with a forced fumble.
- Alabama P Cody Mandell averaged 55 yards per punt on his four kicks, putting two inside the 20.
at Texas A&M 51, Mississippi State 41
Basically … Johnny Manziel threw for a career-high five touchdown passes with two going to Malcome Kennedy from 12 and 21 yards out and two more to Travis Labhart from 33 and 11 yards away. Mississippi State hung around highlighted by a 51-yard Josh Robinson touchdown dash, two scores from LaDarius Perkins and two touchdown catches from De’Runnya Wilson with his second one coming with just over two minutes to play to help pull the Bulldogs within ten. Manziel was able to run out the clock.
- In what might have been his final home game as an Aggie, Johnny Manziel completed 30-of-39 passes for 446 yards and five scores with three picks, and he led the team with 47 rushing yards on 14 carries.
- Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott completed 14-of-26 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and he ran 16 times for 154 yards.
- Three Aggies – Mike Evans, Travis Labhart and Malcolme Kennedy – caught 78 yards of passes or more. Evans and Labhart each went over 100 yards.
- Texas A&M committed ten penalties for 105 yards with three turnovers, while Mississippi State committed four penalties and threw one pick.
at South Carolina 34, Mississippi State 16, Nov. 2
Basically … Five turnovers and four Connor Shaw touchdown passes helped lead South Carolina to a victory over Mississippi State. The Bulldogs opened the scoring on a Dak Prescott touchdown run, but it would be their only lead of the day. Shaw hit WR Shaq Roland on two scoring strikes to take the lead in the first quarter, and South Carolina pulled away for good with 17 unanswered points in the third quarter.
- South Carolina RB Mike Davis led all rushers with 128 yards on 15 carries.
- Prescott rushed for two touchdowns and 78 yards, but he also completed 28-of-43 throws for 235 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.
- Gamecock CB Victor Hampton had a game-high eight tackles to go along with a forced fumble, fumble recovery and three pass breakups.
- Mississippi State held South Carolina to just 1-of-11 on third-down conversions, yet still yielded 34 points in the loss.
at Mississippi State 28, Kentucky 22
Basically … Mississippi State built up a 21-7 first half lead on two Jameon Lewis touchdowns, the second coming on a 17-yard trick play pass, and Malcolm Johnson scores on a 60-yard scoring play, but it would be a fight to hang on. Kentucky answered Johnson’s play with a 51-yard Ryan Timmons touchdown catch and got two Joe Mansour field goals, with the second making it a six point game with just over eight minutes to play. The Bulldog defense held on.
- It’s Dak Prescott’s offense now. Tyler Russell saw a little time, but he only completed one of two passes for ten yards. Prescott was a passer, completing 23-of-34 passes for 268 yards and two scores, but he was held to just 33 rushing yards. I’Tavius Mathers showed flashes over the last few games, and he led the way with 65 yards on 12 carries. He’s not a workhorse, but he needs the ball more.
- Kentucky’s problem is consistency. The running game worked, with Raymond Sanders taking off for 86 yards, and Jojo Kemp added 63 yards and a score, but the offense sputtered in the fourth quarter and couldn’t do anything more than a field goal with the game on the line. It was a decent performance, but it was another loss.
- The Wildcats might be playing a little better, but can it get any luck with the right takeaway at the right time? With Alabama State up next, win No. 2 is coming, and this it’s time to play spoiler. Can the secondary hold up to deal with Missouri or stun Vanderbilt on the road? Mark Stoops needs something positive to build on.
- Was this the corner-turning moment for MSU? It was the first SEC win of the season, but it’s still going to be a fight to get two more wins to become bowl eligible with road games at South Carolina and Texas A&M up next before facing Alabama. The offense doesn’t have enough pop to win any of the three games – the D has to force turnovers. It didn’t come up with any against UK.
at Mississippi State 21, Bowling Green 20
Basically … Dak Prescott took off on a 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and scored on a ten-yard run in the second to help Mississippi State get up 21-10, but it was all Bowling Green in the second half. Matt Johnson pulled the Falcons to within two on a two-yard touchdown run in the third, but they kicked the extra point and couldn’t get back over the hump. They had one more shot in the final few minutes, but they couldn’t get within field goal range.
- Mississippi State survived the disaster. Tyler Russell completed 12-of-14 passes for 102 yards, and Dak Prescott was terrific completing 7-of-11 passes for 75 yards while running for 139 yards and two scores, but the offense failed in the second half. The defense held, and it was a rough home win over a good MAC team, but it was shaky.
- Matt Johnson completed 20-of-34 passes for 224 yards, and he ran for a score, but the Falcons couldn’t establish the running game even though Travis Greene ran for 99 yards on 15 carries. There were chances, but they couldn’t convert.
- Bowling Green couldn’t generate pressure on the quarterbacks and they got picked apart. Paul Swan made 11 tackles and he made his share of plays after the Bulldogs got past the line, but there needed to be more sacks. The Falcons came up with two, but it wasn’t enough.
- The Bulldogs completed passes, but they failed to go anywhere. There were enough midrange throws to keep the chains moving, but there weren’t any backbreakers. MSU’s longest pass play was 17 yards, but there were a few of them. With Kentucky up next, there’s time to find more pop before going on the road to face South Carolina and Texas A&M.
LSU 59, at Mississippi State 26
Basically … Zach Mettenberger was nearly flawless and the running game kicked in when needed as LSU overcame a 28-26 deficit with 31 unanswered points. Mississippi State came up with yards in chunks for three quarters, with Dak Prescott running for a score and Tyler Russell throwing for two scores along the way, but LSU kept up. Kenny Hilliard ran for touchdowns from three and 34 yards, and Jeremy Hill tore off a 69-yard scoring dash to keep up, and then came the explosion with Hilliard and Hill adding fourth quarter touchdowns and Alfred Blue scoring from 17 yards out along the way.
- Don’t get too caught up in LSU needing a while to take control – that’s the plan. LSU beats on teams and beats and beats and beats, and then the floodgates open up. Mississippi State loaded up against the run, and it didn’t matter – the Tiger line came through as the game went on.
- Mississippi State made it interesting with a balanced offense. Dak Prescott only completed 9-of-20 passes for 106 yards with a pick, but he ran 12 times for 103 yards and a score, while Tyler Russell added more of a passing element hitting 7-of-11 throws for 146 yards and two scores. However, the O fell flat in the fourth quarter.
- Zach Mettenberger was challenged, and he lit up the MSU secondary like a Christmas tree hitting 25-of-29 passes for 340 yards and two scores with a pick. Odell Beckham caught nine passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
- Was this MSU’s best shot? It hung around with a national title-good team for three quarters, and then it couldn’t hold up. With Bowling Green and Kentucky up next, coming up with two easy wins is a must – but it won’t be easy. The Bulldogs are good, but it’s been a long, long time since they beat someone great.
at Mississippi State 62, Troy 7
Basically … The Mississippi State offense exploded, but it was the defense that kicked things off with a Jamerson Love interception return for a touchdown in the first few minutes. Up 10-7 in the second, it was all MSU with 52 unanswered points with Dak Prescott running for two scores and throwing for two in a 35-point second quarter. Jameon Lewis made it a laugher with a 50-yard touchdown catch late in the second and an eight-yard touchdown run in the third.
- Now that was how the Mississippi State offense is supposed to look. It hasn’t operated like this year with Dak Prescott moving the chains well, hitting all the right throws, and moving the chains with both his legs as well as his arm. The passing game was explosive and the ground attack effective and deep.
- As accurate as he was to start the year, Corey Robinson is better than he showed, completing just 15-of-25 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown with a pick six that killed the game before it could get started.
- The Troy defense couldn’t get off the field. Prescott ground out drives as MSU had the ball for over 36 minutes by converting third down after third down. The Trojans didn’t have an answer for Prescott.
- MSU didn’t allow Troy to establish a running game. By the time it really tried, it was too late. The Trojans finished with just 47 yards on the ground with Brandon Burks running for 43 of them with most coming on one big dash.
at Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20, Sept. 14
Basically … Nick Marshall found C.J. Uzomah for an 11-yard touchdown with ten seconds to play to give Auburn the late win. The Tigers took an 11-0 lead helped by a 76-yard Quan Bray touchdown catch, but the offense only managed two Cody Parkey field goals until the final drive. Mississippi State took the lead on two Dak Prescott touchdown runs and a 15-yard Jameon Lewis scoring dash, but the defense couldn’t come up with one final stop.
- Very, very quietly, Auburn is now 3-0 and, unlike last year, a whole bunch of fun. The offense might not be as explosive as Gus Malzahn might like, but Nick Marshall is starting to come into his own. He completed 23-of-34 passes for 339 yards and two scores, and while he only ran for 22 yards, and he threw two picks, he showed he could come up with a dramatic game-winning drive.
- Dak Prescott did what he could in place of Tyler Russell. The Mississippi State offense wasn’t smooth, but he carried the ground game with 133 yards and two scores on 22 carries, and he wasn’t bad throwing the ball. Now the offense has to get the running backs more involved. There are too many good options for Prescott to be running so much.
- The Auburn defense came up with a nice pass rush. There might not have been any sacks, but the D was in Prescott’s face for most of the game with lots and lots of pressure. Auburn turned the ball over three times, didn’t force any turnovers, and couldn’t seem to control the tempo, but there was only one penalty and Marshall came through when he had to.
- It’s going to be a big few weeks for the Bulldogs. From the controversy to the 1-2 start, this has been a rough start. Beating Troy next week is an obvious must, and then there’s a week off to prepare for LSU at home. That has to be the kickstarter with winnable games against Bowling Green and Kentucky to follow.
at Mississippi State 51, Alcorn State 7, Sept. 7
Basically … Mississippi State held a light scrimmage in the home opener as Derrick Milton scored twice and Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score on the way to a 37-0 halftime lead. The Bulldogs got up 44-0 on a one-yard Ashton Shumpert touchdown run before Alcorn State got on the board with a 25-yard touchdown catch from Tollete George.
- In place of an injured Derek Russell, Dak Prescott got the job done completing 12-of-19 passes for 174 yards and getting in some good live reps in case he’s needed to do even more against Auburn. While he ran a little bit, he was at his best spreading the ball around.
- Alcorn State didn’t have a prayer. The Bulldog defensive front owned didn’t allow the running game to establish anything, giving up just 28 yards on 25 carries.
- How easy and how dominant was this? In the third quarter, MSU held the ball for over 13 minutes and had it for over 23 minutes in the second half.
Oklahoma State 21, Mississippi State 3
Basically … Oklahoma State’s defense stuffed Mississippi State allowing just a 40-yard Devon Bell field goal in the first quarter. The Cowboy offense sputtered and coughed early on, but it did just enough to get by with J.W. Walsh running for a three-yard score in the second and Jeremy Smith adding scores of one and 20 yards away in the second.
- Mississippi State did everything right in the first half except score. The Bulldog defense kept the Cowboy offense in check, the offense moved the ball, and none of it mattered.
- To answer the ongoing Oklahoma State quarterback question, J.W. Walsh is the main man now. Clint Chelf might get a little bit of work, but Walsh is too effective to keep off the field completing 18-of-27 passes for 135 yards and running 13 times for 125 yards and a score.
- Jeremy Smith appears to be fine as Oklahoma State’s main runner. The wealth will be spread around, but Smith is the most effective back running for 102 yards and two scores on 15 carries.
- The Bulldogs were able to move the ball, but they couldn’t keep the chains moving, converting just 2-of-16 chances. It didn’t get into a shootout, but MSU couldn’t make things happen off of nice drives.
Why To Be Excited ... This might not seem like a positive, but the pressure is off. Of course, the pressure is always on in the SEC, especially on the coaches, but all of the focus this offseason will be on Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M, the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide, the coaching changes at Arkansas and Auburn, and the big recruiting class and the excitement around Ole Miss. Mississippi State was hot a few years ago, but a few average seasons has killed the buzz. Now Dan Mullen and the coaching staff can honestly fire out the Nobody Believes In Us mantra, because it’s actually true. However, with four starters back on an offensive line that was terrific in pass protection, and with three starters back on the defensive front, and with the return of quarterback Tyler Russell and punter Baker Swedenberg, there are some excellent pieces to build around.
Why To Be Grouchy ... The secondary will be an early concern, especially with Oklahoma State up first to kickoff the season on August 31st in Houston. Johnthan Banks should’ve been in the NFL last year, and fellow corner Darius Slay will be making some big bank this year, too. Throw in safety Corey Broomfield, and all of a sudden the Bulldog pass defense that was a positive at times has some major problems. Safety Nickoe Whitley is the lone returning starter in the defensive backfield, but juniors Dee Arrington and Jay Hughes, along with JUCO transfer Justin Cox, should provide some instant help. Offensively, the passing game needs receivers after losing Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith, Arceto Clark and tight end Marcus Green.
What Needs Working On ... The pass rush has to be stronger. There weren’t nearly enough plays in the backfield against the better teams, and the pass rush was non-existent for long stretches. Kaleb Eulls is more like a 3-4 tackle than a true pass rushing end, and Denico Autry has to do more after coming up with four sacks. Preston Smith is set to do more at one end after leading the team with 4.5 sacks, but it’s going to take plays in the backfield from several spots to improve the record after generating more than one sack in just six games.
Non-Conference Games: Oklahoma State, Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green
Games Against The East: Kentucky, at South Carolina
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Oklahoma State, Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Ole Miss
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Auburn, LSU, at South Carolina, at Texas A&M, Alabama, at Arkansas
Schedule Analysis: Can the Bulldogs beat anyone with a pulse? They couldn’t last year, fattening up on the easy teams on the schedule and losing to the good ones, but they’ll have a shot to make up for it right away in Houston against Oklahoma State. The rest of the first half of the season has to be great –starting SEC play at Auburn and needing to beat Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green and Kentucky - considering the second half is a bear.
Even with LSU to deal with early on, the wins need to pile up with a stretch of three road games in four weeks after hosting Kentucky. Getting the Wildcats from the East is a break, but going to South Carolina the next week makes up for it. That’s followed up by a trip to Texas A&M, and home game against Alabama and a trip to Arkansas. A bowl game could come down to the Egg Bowl rivalry against Ole Miss.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Bulldogs have to be better against the stronger teams going 8-0 against teams that didn't go bowling and 0-5 against the ones that got an extra game. The offense fizzled when it came to the big games getting beaten by double digits in all the losses. The pass rush was miserable, finishing last in the SEC in sacks and second-to-last in tackles for loss. The running game needs to be stronger - again, against the better teams - while the passing attack could stand to be more efficient. Personnel-wise, the secondary takes the biggest hit losing three starters.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. The Bulldogs need more pop and explosion, and getting quarterback Cord Sandberg is a nice start. Running back Ashton Shumpert is more of a pounder, but receivers
Fred Ross, Donald Gray, De'Runnya Wilson and R.J. Hammond are big and
can move. Defensive end Chris Jones is the best prospect in the class, and Jake Thomas is an eventual starting offensive tackle. JUCO transfer Justin Cox will start right away in a secondary that loses three good starters. Safety Kivon Coman and linebacker Dezmond Harris are the type of under-the-radar players that Dan Mullen always seems to turn into players.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
23. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. You don’t have a chance in the SEC without a strong defensive front, and MSU is getting one. The Bulldogs lose two key playmakers up front, including tackle Fletcher Cox, and an upgrade is needed for 2013 and beyond. Head coach Dan Mullen is getting a slew of interesting pass rushers and a few terrific tackles to make the line a strength.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 41. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. It wasn’t a great overall class considering the killers the rest of the league kept up with, but there are some nice gets like WR Joe Morrow and running backs Josh Robinson and Derek Milton. The secondary got the most help with 6-2, 200-pound Dee Arrington a potential All-SEC safety and Zachary Johnson a fast, promising hitter. JUCO transfer corner Darius Slay should see time right away, while Justin Cox is a big, fast defender who can play anywhere in the secondary.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 40. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Running back. Dan
Mullen got the receivers for his offense last year,
and this year he worked on the ground game with 6-8,
330-pound Damien Robinson one of the nation's top
offensive tackle recruits to go along with four
running backs to try to replace Anthony Davis.
Matthew Wells is the best of the lot, but JUCO
transfer Vick Ballard might make the most immediate
impact with a physical style and good quickness.
Nick Griffin and Jay Hughes could've been toting the
rock at several other big name schools. Defensively,
6-7, 370-pound James Carmon and 6-4, 330-pound
Jeffrey Howie are massive JUCO transfers brought in
to clog things up right away, while Kaleb Eulls, an
end, is one of the best players in the class.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 22. That Class Was
Heavy On ... receivers. What do you get a team that’s been among the worst in America in passing over the last few years? Targets. Tyler Russell was a must-get quarterback for new head coach Dan Mullen to develop over the next year or two, and he needs guys to throw to. Seven receiver prospects were brought in with JUCO transfers Maurice Langston and Leon Berry looking to add help right away. Chad Bumphis is the best prospect of the lot.