Bulldogs defense shines again
Mississippi State didn’t start the game quite like they wanted to. On the third play of the game Louisiana Tech’s J’Mar Smith would find receiver Marcus Gains across the middle for 58 yards. After a couple incompletions from Smith, LA Tech would settle for three on their opening drive.
Things didn’t go much better for State’s offense on their first drive of the game. The drive started with a rush from Nick Fitzgerald followed by two incompletions and a punt. State’s second drive would end with a Fitzgerald interception that was returned for 61 yards, down to the Mississippi State two yard line. Two plays later Louisiana Tech found the endzone and took an early 9-0 lead. LA Tech would have their PAT blocked by Jeffrey Simmons.
Although it was a rough start for the Bulldogs, Jefferey Simmons would turn the game around single handedly. After a couple three-and-outs from the Louisiana Tech offense Simmons would block their punt attempt and pick the ball up in the endzone for Mississippi State’s first touchdown of the evening. After the early wake-up call Mississippi State would go on to score 36 unanswered points en route to a 57-21 victory.
MSU kicks in to gear
Things may have started out slow but once the Mississippi State Bulldogs got rolling they never looked back. Both Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams would rush for over 100 yards. Fitzgerald would finish the game with 5 touchdowns, three through the air and two rushing touchdowns. Although the first six pass attempt by Fitzgerald would fall incomplete he would finish completing his final twelve attempts.
On the other side of the ball Mississippi State’s defense accounted for six tackles for a loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown. I really love the way this defense is playing through two games. They are aggressive and relentless, something State fans missed tremendously during the Peter Sirmon era. Through the first two weeks the Mississippi State defense has allowed only 348 yards of offense and 21 points between the two games.
Towards the end of the game the most improbable/ridiculous play, perhaps in football history, happened. Louisiana Tech, on a second-and-goal from the State six yard line, had the snap sail over the quarterbacks head. What ensued was something that I thought I would only see in the XFL. The ball would slip through a total of six player’s hands and would be kicked twice before finally being recovered by Louisiana Tech on their own six yard line. Louisiana lost 87 yards on the play and set up a 3rd-and-93. No, LA Tech did not convert, although that would have been on par with things we seen in this ballgame.
The way the State’s defense is playing they just need the offense to sustain some drives and not the turn the ball and they will be in every ballgame late. For the second week in a row Mississippi State surpassed all expectations, even for State fans and are now carrying a lot of momentum into next week’s game with LSU. But this Saturday the Bulldogs will have their first real test, where they will have the privilege of playing at home. The offense can not start slow like they did this past weekend. The defense needs to continue doing exactly what it is they’re doing now and they can start conference play with a victory.