One of the few times Chad Bumphis got open...
THE game of the year has arrived. Mississippi State fans hoped and believed we could get to Bama 7-0--and it happened! If you've been keeping up with the simulations this year you are aware that the virtual Dawgs haven't blown out any of the "cupcakes" except Jackson State. You're also aware that the simulation predicted losses to Auburn and Tennessee. Knowing all of that, there's no way the virtual dogs will compete with virtual Bama...right? Wrong.
Mississippi State won the toss and decides to kick off first.
There will be no kickoff return from Alabama...the Tide settle for a touchback. A.J. McCarron trots on to the field with the rest of the Alabama offense to begin their first drive of the evening. The first play is going to be a pass to Kenny Bell for a nine yard gain. Second and one is a handoff to the running back for a small gain but enough for the first down. McCarron drops back to pass again on first down and hits DeAndrew White for a big gain. Bama now at the MSU 36. McCarron hands the ball off to Eddie Lacey on the next play and Lacey plows forward for a nine yard gain. On second down McCarron fires a pass to Kenny Bell again...Bell catches the ball and turns to run...Bell is met instantly by a hard charging Cameron Lawrence...the ball pops free and it's a FUMBLE!!! Jonathon Banks is there to fall on it and its Mississippi State's football!
Now it's Tyler Russell's turn to get a crack at putting points on the board. The first play is a lateral pass to LaDarius Perkins, Perkins is met immediately by a Bama defender and brought down for no gain on the play. On second and ten Russell goes right back to Perkins and this time the back gets a first down! Another play, another hand off...this time its disastrous and the Bulldogs lose four yards. On second and fourteen Russell drops back to pass but the Tide is coming after him and they get him...now its third and nineteen. Russell drops back to pass...can't find anyone to throw to....Russell throws the ball away and MSU will punt.
Bama has great field position to begin their next drive. They're at their own 49. McCarron's first throw is dropped by the tight end for an incomplete pass. On second and ten McCarron throws a lateral pass to Lacey...Lacey is met immediately by a white jersey and loses four yards. Now its third and fourteen. McCarron drops back to pass and looks way down field...he spots his man and fires a pass...the receiver jumps to catch the ball but it's batted down by Jonathon Banks! The MSU defense stands their ground and Bama is forced to punt.
The Bulldog return is very minimal and MSU starts their next drive at their own 23. Perkins tries a run on first down but just can't break through...no gain. Russell hands it to the back again and this time #27 gets three. Russell drops back to pass on third and seven...he's getting good protection...he finally finds an open receiver...he fires the pass to LaDarius Perkins...Perkins catches the ball and it's enough for a first down and more! Perkins finally brought down at the MSU 46. Russell is forced to throw the ball away on the next play...can't find anyone open. Russell drops back and looks down field for some one to throw to...he finds Jameon Lewis. He zips a bullet to Lewis and somehow threads the needle for a completion! Bulldogs driving and now at the Alabama 28 yard line. A hand off to Perkins gets another first down and the back is finally brought down at the Bama 16 yard line. Russell throws a pass to Chris Smith for a one yard gain. The Bulldogs make a mistake and commit a false start on the next play...they now find themselves in a second and fourteen situation. Russell hands the ball off to Perkins again but the back runs into his own players and gets only a couple. Russell can't find anyone open on third down and is forced to throw the ball away. Devon Bell comes on to the field to try a 35 yard field goal and it's good! Mississippi State draws first blood and the score is 3-0!
Bama does not return the kickoff. They will start their next drive at their own 25. A hand off to the running back gets five yards on first down. On second down McCarron fakes a pass...then he tucks it and runs and gets six yards for a first down. First quarter ends with MSU on top 3-0.
Bama will give the ball to Lacey on first down...MSU is ready for it and Lacey loses four yards. McCarron throws another deep pass on second down...the ball out runs the receiver and it's incomplete! Lacey gets a crack at it on third and long...the Bulldogs swarm over him and stop him short! Alabama will punt the ball away.
MSU returns the ball to their own 26. Russell pitches the ball to Perkins but Bama is all over it...three yard loss on the play. On second and thirteen Russell again hands it off to Perkins...Perkins met immediately by a Crimson blur and knocked on his back for no gain. It's third and thirteen. Russell drops back to pass and finds Ricco Sanders...Sanders makes the catch and gets a positive gain but he's well short of the first down. MSU forced to punt the ball back.
The Alabama offense takes over at their own 43. McCarron hands it to Lacey and the run produces eight yards. The ball is given to Lacey again on second down but this time the Bulldogs are ready...no gain on the play. McCarron goes to the air on third down and finds Kenny Bell for a first down. Alabama now at the MSU 41. Lacey runs it up the middle on the next play and gets five. McCarron's quick pass to DeAndrew White is complete for a first down and more...Bama now at the MSU 20. It's Lacey again on the next play and he goes no where. Second and ten for Bama. McCarron throws a quick pass to midfield and right into the hands of Corey Broomfield...BUT Broomfield drops it!!! Third and ten for Bama. McCarron drops back to pass...he's got plenty of time to look...he finally finds White open near the sideline and the receiver makes the catch for a first down. He's pushed out of bounds at the MSU six yard line. Hand off to the back on first down...no gain. Second and goal. McCarron makes a great throw and hits Christion Jones but the receiver drops it! 3rd and goal. McCarron fires a pass to the end zone and hits Kevin Norwood for the first touchdown of the game. There is a flag on the play...it's off sides on MSU...penalty declined. Bama takes the lead 7-3.
With a little under a minute left in the half MSU will begin their next drive at their own 20. Tyler Russell goes to the air with a quick throw that is nearly picked off. Second and ten for MSU. This time Russell finds Brandon Holloway open and after the catch is made it's enough for a first down. MSU burns their first time out to conserve time...43 seconds left in the half. The ball is now at the MSU 34. Tyler Russell throws a pass to Jameon Lewis for a four yard gain...Bulldogs call another time out and now have on remaining. Tyler Russell drops back to pass...he looks way down field and slings it...and Chris Smith is WIDE OPEN!!! Smith makes the catch and no one is going to stop him...he takes it to the house for a TD!!! Mississippi State regains the lead and the score is now 10-7.
Alabama will get the ball back with thirty seconds left. They have one time out. They begin their next drive at the 25. McCarron looking down field...he can't find anyone open and throws the ball away. On second down he finds a receiver and gets a first down. Bama now at midfield...they keep their time out and hurry to the line. McCarron drops back on the next play and slings the ball to the end zone...the Bama receivers are all covered and the ball is batted away. There's a flag on the play...holding against Bama. It's now first and 20 with ten seconds remaining. Another rocket is thrown down the field...it's going straight to Broomfield and #25 comes down with it for an INT.
SCARY moment for MSU as Perkins tries a run to finish the half...he fumbles the ball but fortunately a Bulldog falls on it. The quarter ends with MSU leading 10-7!
Halftime MSU leads 10-7
Banks returns the kickoff to the 27. Russell hands it to Perkins for a two yard gain. On second down Russell fires a pass to an open Chad Bumphis for a first down. Perkins takes it up the middle for a five yard gain on the next play. On second and five Russell passes it to Jameon Lewis for a three yard gain. It's third and short...Russell fires a quick pass and the Bulldog receiver drops it! Bulldogs are going to punt the ball aw---no, wait! They're gonna go for it! Russell hands it to Perkins and the running back fights and fights...he gets enough for the first down!!! The drive continues and MSU is now at the 50. Russell gives it to Perkins again and the back rumbles straight up the middle for another first down! Perkins finally taken down at the Bama 35. On first down Russell fakes a hand off to Perkins...he keeps it and runs it himself...Russell sheds a tackle and picks up just enough for a first down! MSU now at the Bama 24. Another yellow flag is thrown before the ball is snapped...false start on MSU. Second one of the game. Bulldogs back up five yards and now its first and fifteen. Russell drops back...he looks down field and finds Jameon Lewis streaking up the sideline...Lewis into the end zone...he leaps for the ball and catches it!!! Another TD for the Bulldogs! MSU now on top 17-7 over Alabama!
Bama begins their next drive at the 25. The ball is given to Lacey but the run goes no where. Second and ten. Another hand off to Lacey..this time he gets two yards. It's now third and eight. McCarron going to throw this time. He finds Christion Jones open and the Tide pick up a first down. McCarron gives it to Lacey again...the back finds a hole and picks up ten. First down for Bama. McCarron makes a quick pass to Jones again and picks up five. On second down McCarron spots an open receiver but his throw is off...he misses his target and the pass is incomplete. It's now third and five. McCarron finds Kevin Norwood open...he completes the pass and is tackled at the MSU 31 yard line for a first down. Another pass...another first down. Bama now at the MSU 13. A hand off to Lacey up the gut gets six. McCarron slings one to the back of the end zone...a Bulldog defender is there and has a chance for a pick...he instead drops the ball. It's third and four for Bama. This time McCarron targets the back corner of the end zone...he finds Eddie Williams and the two connect for a TD. There is a booth review and the call on the field is confirmed. Bama now closes the gap and the score is 17-14.
MSU begins their next drive at the 25. Tyler Russell trots back onto the field hoping to duplicate the result of their last drive. Russell tucks it and runs on first down...he gets a seven yard gain on the play. On second and three the ball is throw to the middle of the field but batted down. On third down Russell gives it to Perkins but the play loses yards...Bulldogs punt the ball after the three and out.
After the return Bama will begin their next drive at their 41 yard line. McCarron gives it to Lacey and the back picks up a yard. On second down the ball is thrown to Norwood...the receiver picks up eight. It's now third and one. McCarron makes another bad throw and again is nearly picked off. The third quarter ends and MSU clings to a 17-14 lead.
It's fourth and one but Bama is going for it. McCarron drops back to pass...a Bulldog defender breaks through and hits him as he throws...the pass falls incomplete and Bulldogs take over on downs at midfield!
Russell connects with his old high school teammate Chris Smith on first down and Smith spins his way forward for a nine yard gain. It's second and inches. Tyler slings it to Jameon Lewis on the next play...Lewis catches it and makes a hell of a cut to make the Bama defender miss him...Lewis has some open field in front of him and gets a big gain! Lewis finally tackled at the Bama eight yard line! Russell can't find anyone to throw to on the next play...he tries to run it himself but is brought down immediately. It's second and goal. Again Russell can't find anyone to throw to...he throws the ball away. It's third and goal. The ball is given to Perkins...the back rumbles ahead but falls short of the goal line. MSU settles for a field goal. Bulldogs now lead 20-14.
Bama takes over at the 25 to start another drive. The first play is a pass and it picks up eight yards. McCarron gives it to Lacey on second down...no gain on the play. Lacey gets it again on third down and he picks up five yards and a first down. Again the ball is given to Lacey...he picks up three. Lacey again...another first down. Bama now at the Bulldog 46. McCarron looking to pass on the next play...hes got Shane McCardell in his face and is hit as he throws. Incomplete pass. On second and ten McCarron goes back to Lacey...the back is dropped for no gain. It's third and ten for Bama. McCarron finds an open receiver to throw to on fourth down...the pass is caught but four yards short of a first down. It's now fourth down and Bama of course is going for it. McCarron drops back to pass...he's got good protection...he finally lobs one up near the side line...the receiver catches it but stumbles out of bounds a yard short of a first down. Turnover on downs!!!
MSU now has the ball at their own 32 with a minute and a half left in the game. Both teams have all their time outs. Russell tucks it and runs on first down...he gets six yards and Bama takes a time out to stop the clock. On second down the ball is kept by Russell again...he goes no where on the play...Bama takes another time out. On third down Russell throws a quick pass to LaDarius Perkins...Perkins catches it and is brought down at the Alabama 30 yard line! Alabama takes their final time out. Russell gives it to Perkins this time and the back gets nine yards. Again Tyler Russell hands the ball to Perkins...the back runs for a first down and a lot more...he's pushed out at the two yard line. There's only 30 seconds left on the clock...Tyler Russell takes a knee to end the game.
Mississippi State WINS with a final score of 20-14!
I can't make this stuff up folks!
State had 335 yards of total offense vs 269 for Bama
242 of State's yards were through the air with 93 on the ground
Alabama had 2 turnovers in the game while State had none