The Aggies dropped the Bulldogs Saturday in Starkville in a battle for the number three spot in the SEC. How did it happen? Here are some quick thoughts.
In what was billed as #SnowBowl12, Mississippi State forgot how to tackle, allowing the Texas A&M Aggies rack up 693 yards in a 38-13 pounding of Mississippi State in Starkville.
Mississippi State completely got off on the wrong foot, a theme that has been common in many of their big games the past few years. On their opening drive, a false start called on Charles Siddoway put the Bulldogs in 1st and 15, and after Damontre Moore picked up a sack, there was little chance to convert.
Defensively, the Bulldogs did a horrible job tackling the Aggies' ball carriers, letting three and four yard plays turn into huge gains.
That trend continued through the quarter as the Bulldogs suffered a negative play on each of their three drives, and the Aggies ran out to a 14-0 lead.
Texas A&M kept things going in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs continued poor play, allowing the Aggies to get to a 24-0 lead on another touchdown and field goal.
In that second quarter, both teams drove into the red zone, and they left points on the board. The Bulldogs failed to convert on a fourth down play, and Josh Boyd blocked an Aggie field goal as the half expired.
After the first half, the stats looked like this: Texas A&M had 386 total yards of offense. Johnny Manziel went 18 of 22 for 164 yards, and he ran for 82 yards and score. Tyler Russell went five of nine for 29 yards, and LaDarius Perkins led the Bulldogs on the ground with 39 yards. In all, the Bulldogs had 87 yards of total offense.
After the break, the Aggies kept it going, scoring on their first drive of the half. Finally, the Bulldogs forced a three and out, and with 8:01 left in the third quarter, Tyler Russell and Chad Bumphis hooked up on a touchdown pass.
The Bulldogs had a slight glimmer of hope when Cam Lawrence was ruled to have caused a Manziel fumble in front of the goal line and the Bulldogs recovered for a touchback. The following Bulldog drive ended on a Tyler Russell interception.
Later in the fourth quarter, Tyler Russell scored on a short keeper to cut the score to 31-13.
In the end, Manziel finished with 129 yards on the ground and 311 yards on 30 of 36 passing for two total touchdowns. Mike Evans and Ryan Swope both hauled in nine catches for 122 and 121 yards respectively.
The Bulldogs totaled 311 offensive yards. Tyler Russell had 212 yards passing and a rushing and passing touchdown. LaDarius Perkins led the Bulldogs on the ground with 42 yards, and Arceto Clark had five catches for 64 yards. Chad Bumphis caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.
Got a feeling there will not be a #snowbowl14 campaign. Where does this leave Mississippi State? The Bulldogs jumped out to 7-0, but have lost two straight to foe ranked #1 and #16 in the BCS. Can Mississippi State find a way to rebound before heading to Baton Rouge to take on what will most likely be an angry LSU team? What if the Bulldogs drop three straight? Can they bounce back against Arkansas, if it a losing streak runs to four games, what happens on the road in Oxford?
Suddenly, a season that looked like it was providing many answers about Mississippi State now leaves a bunch of unanswered questions.