The Mississippi State Bulldogs had their best offensive performance in SEC play under Dan Mullen Saturday against Texas A&M at Kyle Field Saturday, but the Bulldogs needed a bit more in their 51-41 loss to the Aggies.
Freshman wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson played a large role in the explosion of the Mississippi State offensive statistics. The Alabama native finished with seven receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson's first touchdown came on a three-yard jump pass from Dak Prescott that stymied an early run by the Aggies to cut the Texas A&M lead to 16-14 late with under a minute to play in the first half.
It looked like the Bulldogs would only trail by two going into the half, but the Aggies managed to go 75 yards in 38 seconds to push their lead to 23-14.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said the late second half score hurt the Bulldogs' momentum.
"Giving up points right before halftime was a huge momentum killer," said Mullen. "It has probably cost us a couple games this year."
Miscues on special teams also proved to be a momentum killer for the Bulldogs in the contest. The Aggies turned two blocked kicks into 16 points against the Mississippi State.
In the first quarter, the Aggies blocked a Devon Bell punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety, and on the following drive, the Texas A&M put a touchdown on the board when Johnny Manziel connected with Travis Labhart on a 33 yard touchdown pass.
While the Bulldogs looked to have given up momentum going into the half, Mississippi State snatched it right back with an interception on the Aggies' first drive of the second half. However, Texas A&M blocked an Evan Sobiesk field goal attempt and scored a touchdown on the following drive to take a 30-14 lead, and Mississippi State never trailed by less than ten again in the contest.
Trailing 51-27 with under eleven minutes to play, the Bulldogs rallied to cut the score to 51-41 thanks to a one-yard touchdown run by LaDarius Perkins and a nine-yard touchdown reception from Wilson from Tyler Russell.
In all, Mississippi State picked up 556 yards of offense with 299 coming on the ground and 257 through the air.
Russell, who picked up the start Saturday, finished 8 of 14 for 77 yards and a touchdown. Prescott finished 14 of 26 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Jameon Lewis also factored into the passing game, tossing a 31-yard touchdown pass to Joe Morrow.
On the ground, Prescott gained 154 yards on 16 carries, and Josh Robinson gained 73 yards on 6 carries. Perkins, who had 17 carries, picked up 55 yards on the ground.
For the Aggies, Johnny Manziel picked up 47 yards on the ground and 446 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions through the air on 30 of 39 passing. Mike Evans finished with five receptions for 116 yards, while Malcome Kennedy and Labhart both hauled in two touchdown receptions.