So much for an offensive shootout.
Heading into a matchup against No. 13 Oklahoma State, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and his team were expecting a battle as they prepared for one of the most potent offenses in the nation.
What the Bulldogs got instead was defensive bruising, as the Cowboys shut down Mississippi en route to a 21-3 win.
Despite driving 57 yards on 13 plays for a field goal to open the game, the Bulldogs were unable to get much going on offense, managing just 333 yards to OSU’s 432 on the day. The MSU offense, which featured new faces, especially at the receiver position, was particularly troubled on third downs where they went two for 16 for the game.
“We probably should have done a better job taking shots down the field,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. “We were trying to protect and slowly break in our wide receivers. Now, all those guys have a game under their belt. They can now watch themselves in a live game and the things they can improve on.”
The failed conversions would prevent the Bulldogs from sustaining long drives and taking advantage of a dormant OSU offense early on.
“Those were big to the game,” MSU backup quarterback Dak Prescott said of the missed opportunities. “Those were tough not being able to convert, and I think it put a little dent in our offense. It’s just something we will work on. We’ll go back to the film room and study it. We’ll improve on it and get better at it.”
The Cowboy offense would wake up in the second quarter, as OSU made a switch from starting quarterback Clint Chelf to backup J.W. Walsh.
Walsh threw for 135 yards, rushed for 125 more with a touchdown on the afternoon. Late in the second quarter, he provided the Cowboys with their first score, running in a three-yard touchdown on a read-option play to give OSU a 7-3 lead at halftime.
The read-option continued to haunt the Bulldogs in the second half, as the Cowboys marched down the field on their opening drive of the third quarter, leading to a one-yard touchdown run by running back Jeremy Smith.
“They were slow, and all of a sudden they got a little spark, got a little juice and you just stick with the hot hand,” Mullen said of OSU. “They just found some success on some things, and I don’t think we adjusted fast enough.”
MSU starting quarterback Tyler Russell went down with a head injury late in the third quarter and would not return to the game.
OSU broke the score open to start the fourth quarter, as Smith raced along the left sideline for a 20-yard touchdown to break the game open at 21-3. Smith finished the day with 15 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“The chances of us going undefeated this season were pretty slim,” Mullen said. “The chances for most teams to go undefeated are pretty slim. It’s how you react to that, how you learn from the mistakes and the things you do to correct it.
“For us, every goal that we had is still pretty much in place, to still compete for a SEC championship. There are a lot of things we need to correct to get better.”
So much for an offensive shootout.
Neshoba Pee Wees advance to championship
The Neshoba Pee Wees defeated a very physical Wayne County team last Saturday night at Jones Junior College in Ellisville.
The win puts Neshoba in this Saturday's Mississippi Youth Football championship game in the Pee Wee division against Poplarville. In addition to Wayne County, Neshoba's playoff run includes wins over Oak Grove, Quitman, and Petal.
Fantasy forecast: Help for your playoff run
So you made it past the first round, or you are playing in a dynasty league and need to know who to pick up, or you just want to avoid finishing last in your league in order to not lose a bet. Whatever your reason for reading I am glad that you are, and I am going to give you a couple of guys that you may be able to insert to help you out this week:
CLEVELAND: Turk’s legacy won’t soon be forgotten
Don’t you love it when younger coaches get it? Don’t you love it when they appreciate the legends who became before them, the people who created a situation they enjoy?
- MCC’s Huff named to 2013 NJCAA All-American team
TSOUKALAS: Is Stephens the new Sullivan?
Positioned in front of Sullivan-Windham Field in Scooba, the stadium that proudly bares his last name, stands legendary East Mississippi Community College head coach Bob “Bull” “Cyclone” Sullivan.
Adkins wraps up EMCC career at 24-0
Off the field, East Mississippi Community College wide receiver Antoinne Adkin’s life has been a roller coaster. On it though, it has been nothing short of perfect.
Winning in Mississippi extra sweet for EMCC
“If you build it he will come” is a popular quote from the 1989 film Field of Dreams. The statement could be said of the winning tradition behind the success of the East Mississippi Community College football program.
- (PHOTOS) EMCC Wins National Championship Slideshow from the East Mississippi Community College National Championship win in Biloxi. High resolution photos can be viewed at http://themeridianstar.smugmug.com/Sports/EMCC-National-Champions/35256383_MfR3vh#!i=2957460549&k=BZ7r378
East Mississippi tops Georgia Military for NJCAA title
For the second time in three seasons, the East Mississippi Community College Lions are kings of the junior college world. No. 2 EMCC outlasted No. 1 Georgia Military College, 52-32, in the Mississippi Bowl to earn the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national championship Sunday night at Biloxi Indian Stadium.
Lions bring home hardware in title win
After a convincing, 52-32, National Junior College Athletic Association national championship victory over Georgia Military College, the East Mississippi Lions had three members of its team to win prestigious hardware.
- More Sports Headlines
- Neshoba Pee Wees advance to championship