Winning on the road in the SEC is not easy. Sure, it was Vanderbilt, and they are often the punchline of the SEC, but they played a great defensive game last night. Bobby Johnson really has that program on the right track and is starting to build depth.
This was the first Mississippi State road win since Kentucky in 2007, so it was a great confidence booster for the team - especially when you consider the upcoming homestand that sees #9 LSU (3-0), #14 Georgia Tech (2-1) and #21 Houston all coming to Scott Field in the next 3 weeks.
We will take a look at that series of games later this week, but for now - The Morning After.
I started giving out helmet stickers in my post-game wrap up last night, and completely dropped the ball by not giving one to the entire Mississippi State defense. It's cool though. Chris Low at ESPN gave them one for me and had this to say:
A week after being shredded for 589 yards of total offense by Auburn in a 49-24 loss, Mississippi State’s defense came back swinging against Vanderbilt and held the Commodores to one field goal and 157 total yards. In the first half, Vanderbilt managed just one first down against Carl Torbush’s bunch.
Over at the Clarion-Ledger, Rusty Hampton has a good recap of the game and the highlights from Nashville. Beat writer Kyle Veazey has his 4 talking points following the game: Defense, Tyson Lee, Anthony Dixon, and being 2-1.
At the NE Daily Journal, Brad Locke has his take on the game as well.
Here are some post-game comments from the team after the win:
FS Zach Smith on playing from the nickel:
"Well they ran the ball on us last week and they didn’t this week. I came down from the field to the boundary to apply pressure. Most of the time we had another defensive lineman in there instead of having three like last week. I thought the coaches did a good job and players executed well which allowed us to win."
DC Carl Torbush on the difference between this week and last week:
"As a coach, it’s always tough. You know the kids played hard and played well, and obviously we didn’t get them in a good enough position to be successful in the end. Auburn did some really nice things to keep us from being able to be successful, but there is no doubt that we were all disappointed, frustrated and hurt. I thought it was very important that we came back this week and make some plays and we were able to do that."
Coach Dan Mullen on time of possession:
"We were able to run the ball well tonight and that’s our strong point with our running backs. The defense was able to get off the field quickly and get our office right back out there. Early in the game, the defense held up for us."
and on using the no-huddle offense:
"It went pretty good. The guys managed it pretty well. We need to get a couple bigger plays from it. Over the course of the season, our younger guys are going to find a way to make plays off of it."
That should just about do it. Let's enjoy the win because they will be much harder to come by over the next 3 weeks.
Up next for is week 3 of the SEC Power Poll. We will also be taking a look at our next 3 opponents and how we will match up against each one.
We will also try to get a guest blogger Q/A with some LSU folks up before the end of the week.