Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
This week the Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. The Bulldogs have one final challenge before rolling into Alabama 7-0. Will they be able to handle business with Middle Tennessee or will they get caught looking ahead to Bama? We ran the simulation to get an idea of just how much fight the Blue Raiders have.
The Bulldogs kick off first and there is no return to begin the game. Blue Raiders take a knee in the end zone. On first down the quarterback Logan Kilgore slings a rocket way down the field that is broken up and falls incomplete. On second down the Blue Raiders try a running play that gets nothing. Actually they lost five yards. On third and long Kilgore again throws a long pass down the field. Once again the Bulldogs are blanketing the receiver and the pass is broken up. Blue Raiders punt.
State takes over after the return and have good field position. They are already at midfield. Tyler Russell tucks it and runs on first down...he picks up six yards. Second down is going to be a pass...the pass is complete to Chris Smith but there is no gain on the play. It's third and four. Russell drops back and slings a rocket of his own to Middle Tennessee's end zone...Jame Lewis is outrunning the defenders and he's there to make the play. Bulldogs strike first with a TD! MSU on top early 7-0.
The Blue Raiders settle for another touchback on the kickoff. On first down the ball is handed off to the running back but he is unable to go anywhere with it. No gain. On second down the Blue Raiders decide to run again...this time they get three. After an incomplete pass on 3rd and 7, Middle Tennessee punts the ball away.
MSU once again starts their drive near midfield...they're at their own 44. Big run from LaDarius Perkins gets a first down and a lot more...he bulldozed his way into Blue Raider territory. MSU at the MTSU 42. Russell decides to run it himself again and the great blocks he's getting allows him to plow forward to the MTSU 28 yard line. A handoff to Perkins gets 9 on first down...Perkins immediately picks up enough for another first down on 2nd and 1. Again, Perkins runs in on the next play...he gets a few yards. Tyler Russell fires a pass to the back of the end zone on the next play and it's caught! But wait...there's a flag on the play. It's again MSU...illegal touching. The TD goes away and suddenly the Bulldogs are in a 3rd and 13 situation. Russell plays it safe and hands the ball to Perkins...he gets a good gain but comes up 5 yards short. MSU settles for the easy field goal to extend their lead 10-0.
For the first time in the game, the Blue Raiders return a kickoff. They get to the 24 to begin their next drive. The first play is going to be a pass...Kilgore's throw is off target and goes incomplete. He goes to the air again on second down and the pass is caught by Kyle Griswould for a first down. Another throw from Kilgore is another completion and another first down. Two more passes and now MTSU is in a 3rd and 3 situation. Davis-Wade Stadium is suddenly very loud. The ball is snapped and Kilgore drops back to pass...he's getting great protection this time...he's got plenty of time before he finally finds a target. It's Griswould again...he's open and makes the catch for a big gain. MTSU is now at the MSU 12. First down...Kilgore slings another one to Griswould...he's got it and easily strolls into the end zone for six. After the extra point MTSU now trails MSU by 3.
Bulldogs settle for a touchback and begin their next drive at the 25. Russell hits Ricco Sanders with a pass that's completed for a nice 8 yard gain. On second and two Russell goes to the air again...his pass is caught for another four yards and a first down. Russell can't find anyone open on the next play and runs it himself for one yard. The next play is a run...and its a loss. The first quarter ends.
The next play is a pass that's caught but well short of a first down. MSU punts.
The Blue Raiders will begin the drive at their 33 yard line. Kilgore immediately stays with what's been working...he passes it to the tight end for a first down...MTSU now in MSU territory. A run followed by a pass has another first down. MTSU nearing the red zone. A flag is thrown before the ball is snapped on the next play...its a false start on the Blue Raiders. They back up five yards and try again. Kilgore throws it again but the gain is only four yards. It's 2nd and 11. Kilgore pitches it to the back on the next play...the running back drops it! Unfortunately for MSU, the Blue Raiders recover it. And unfortunately for the Blue Raiders they're now in a 3rd and 15 situation. Kilgore goes to the air on the next play...the receiver goes up to get it...he's got Jonathon Banks all over him but by some miracle he comes down with it at the one yard line! First and goal for the Blue Raiders. Kilgore tries to sneak it in himself and the defense swarms all over him...now its second and goal. This time Kilgore tries to get it done through the air...it's incomplete. Third and goal. With the crowd roaring, Kilgore hands it off to the running back...the Bulldogs are ready for it and it's a loss on the play! MTSU settles for a field goal and--it's blocked!!! Jamerson Love got a hand on it...Bulldogs stand tall and keep the lead!
MSU takes over at their own six. Russell drops back to pass on first down...he finds Brandon Holloway open. Holloway makes the catch for a first down and more. Bulldogs now at their own 40. Perkins picks up six on the next play. It's Perkins again on second down and he isn't brought down until he reaches the MTSU 45 yard line. Russell hands it to Perkins yet again...this time he loses a yard. Russell tries to run it himself on second down and gets the lost yard back and nothing more. On third and ten Tyler Russell drops back to pass...he fires a bullet to Chad Bumphis. Bumphis makes the catch and is tackled at the MTSU 27. On first down, Russell passes the ball to Jameon Lewis...he picks up two. Another pass appeared to get a first down, but the refs throw a flag for holding. Unfortunately the flag seemed to stall the drive out, Russell throws a couple of incomplete passes. Devon Bell trots on to the field to attempt a long field goal. He gets enough leg in it to make the 40 yard attempt a good one. Bulldogs now lead 13-7.
The Blue Raiders only have around a minute to get more points before halftime. Kilgore strings three passes together...two of them are complete, one wasn't...it's not enough for a first down. The Blue Raiders punt it back to MSU.
The Bulldogs take over at their 36. Up by six, they want more points before the half. Tyler is trying to put some passes together but he's not finding a lot of open receivers...he wastes a lot of time just looking down the field...his protection is great but the seconds tick away as he searches for someone to throw to. Two plays find him in this precarious position and both plays he is forced to tuck it and run. He makes it through the first one okay, but the second one sees him slow to get up. Russell injured with only 20 seconds remaining. Prescott comes into the game and takes a couple of deep shots to the end zone. The passes don't connect and we finally reach halftime.
At Halftime Bulldogs Lead 13-7
MSU takes the kickoff to begin the second half and will start the game at their own 20. It seems that Tyler Russell's injury was serious enough to keep him out of the game because Dak Prescott is on the field. He takes the snap and hands the ball to LaDarius Perkins. Perkins gets two and now we've got an injured Blue Raider. Prescott completes a pass and now MSU is one yard short of a first down. Prescott drops back to pass again finds Jameon Lewis open near the sideline. Lewis makes the catch and is brought down in MTSU territory. After a botched run, Dak drops back to pass on second down...he slings a missile to Lewis again. Lewis catches the ball and is driven out of bounds at the MTSU one yard line. First and goal for the Bulldogs. Prescott hands it to Perkins and the back runs it in for the TD! MSU now on top 20-0.
Erin Andrews finally gave an update on Russell. Broken elbow...appears to be season ending. It'll be Prescott the rest of the game.
Blue Raiders take over at the own 24. Kilgore completes a pass for ten yards and a first down. He throws way down the field on the next play and out throws his receiver for an incompletion. After another incompletion, Kilgore goes to the air again on third down...this time his pass is caught for a first down. Blue Raiders are now at the MSU 46. Kilgore gives the ball to the back this time and he earns one yard. The quarterback can't find an open receiver on second down...he holds the ball a long time and is nearly sacked! Somehow he escapes and throws the ball away. It's now 3rd and 9. He's forced to throw quicker than he'd like and the pass is incomplete. MTSU punts the ball to MSU.
Bulldogs take over at their own 25. It's a running play on first down that gets five yards. Dak Prescott decides to go to the air on the next play and he completes a pass to Chris Smith for a first down. Bulldogs now at their own 45. Prescott dumps another pass to Holloway for another first down. MSU now in Blue Raider territory. Dak Prescott drops back to pass again on the next play...this time the protection isn't there and Prescott is sacked on the play! It's now 2nd and 18. A quick pass gets three yards courtesy of Jameon Lewis. Prescott's pass on third down falls incomplete. Bulldogs punt.
MTSU takes over at their own 20. Kilgore again is forced to throw the ball quickly and his receiver is unable to get anything on the play. It's a three yard loss. A direct snap to the running back goes no where and MTSU loses another yard. It's third and 14. The back gets it again on a halfback draw but is brought down well short of the first down. MTSU punts back to the Bulldogs.
MSU takes over at their own 44. Prescott throws a pass to Perkins...the back sheds tackles and picks up enough for a first down. Perkins gets it again on the next play and picks up eight. Prescott throws a quick pass on second down and gets enough for another first down. Prescott decides to run it himself on the next play and earns about four. The third quarter ends with the Bulldogs still leading 20-7.
A couple of more runs from LaDarius Perkins gets the other six yards needed for a fresh set of downs. On first and ten, Prescott again hands it to Perkins...he gets two yards. On second and eight Dak decides to run it himself...he loses a yard. On third and nine Prescott decides to get away from the run and return to the air...the decision proves costly...he's sacked and fumbled the ball. MTSU falls on it!
MTSU lines up at their own 33. The Bulldogs come after the quarterback on first down and get get him for a sack! 2nd and 16 for MTSU. The next play is an incomplete pass. Kilgore tries for the homerun on third down and the pass is intercepted by Louis Watson! MSU takes back over with the turnover!
Bulldogs start the next drive at their 32. Prescott flings a quick throw to Holloway for an eight yard gain. On second and two Dak hands it to Perkins. Perkins runs for a first down and a whole lot more. The back is brought down at the MTSU 44. Another handoff to Perkins...Bulldogs burning clock up now. MTSU is forced to use their timeouts at we're now at two minutes left in the game. The Bulldogs drive finally stalls out and they line up for a long 51 yard field goal attempt. Bell kicks the ball beautifully and it sails through the uprights! Bulldogs extend their lead 23-7.
The Blue Raiders take over with less than two minutes to go. Their first play is flagged and they are suddenly in a 2nd and 15 situation. Kilgore completes a pass and makes it a much more manageable 3rd and 2. The next pass is dropped and it's 4th and 2. With no other choice, the Blue Raiders go for it deep in their own territory. Kilgore drops back to pass and finds a receiver...its enough for a first down. With a minute and twenty seconds left Kilgore spikes to ball to conserve time. A big pass to the middle of the field is caught by a diving Blue Raider receiver for a huge gain. MTSU now at the MSU 32. Kilgore hurries to the line and spikes the ball again. He goes to the air again on the fresh set of downs and finds a receiver wide open in the end zone. After the easy TD, the Blue Raiders decide to go for two. They succeed and suddenly the score is 23 to 15.
The inevitable on side kick is attempted and the Bulldogs get it. MSU melts the rest of the clock and the game ends with the Bulldogs on top.
Bulldogs Win 23-15!
Bulldogs had 388 yards of total offense vs 304 for Middle Tennessee
127 yards rushing for MSU
-5 yards rushing for Middle Tennessee
261 yards passing for MSU
309 yards passing for Middle Tennessee
Each team had one turnover