2001 was a disastrous season for Mississippi State football. After opening the season with a win over Memphis, State dropped two 14-16 decisions to South Carolina and Auburn, as well as a 0-52 beatdown at the hands of Florida. The season -- one that started with high expectations and a #19 ranking for the Bulldogs -- would end with State sporting a brutal 3-8 record. And mixed right in the middle of that early 2000s nightmare season was a loss to a new Division 1 team by the name of Troy State.
The Trojans, in their first season as an FBS school, had experienced mix results so far in the highest division of college football. Their campaign started off with brutal thrashings at the hands of Nebraska, Middle Tennessee State, and Miami, and they entered into that October 13th homecoming bout with MSU heavy underdogs, even despite MSU's struggles to that point.
But as they say, there's a reason they play the game. I'll let the game story via USA Today from 12 years ago tell the story as it unfolded that day:
Troy State played the role of sacrificial lambs against Nebraska and Miami, but the tough schedule may have paid off for the Trojans on Saturday.
Troy State scored all its points in the second quarter and posted a 21-9 upset of Mississippi State.
In their first year in Division I-A, the Trojans (2-3) suffered a 42-14 season-opening loss to Nebraska and a 38-7 defeat to Miami last week.
Demontray Carter only rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries against Mississippi State, but scored twice for Troy State, which registered all its points in an eight-minute span.
Carter, a transfer from Auburn, finished with 111 all-purpose yards, while Brock Nutter completed 10-of-26 passes for 130 yards.
Nutter gave Troy State a 7-0 lead by tossing a 37-yard TD pass to Carter that capped a 54-yard, five-play drive with 12:36 remaining in the second quarter.
Troy State's defense, which had allowed an average of 33.5 points per game, scored the next touchdown as safety Rayshaun Reed intecepted Wayne Madkin's pass and returned it 73 yards to make it 14-0 with 9:21 left in the half.
Just under five minutes later, Carter raced 23 yards to finish a three-play, 40-yard drive.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 21-6 before the intermission on Madkin's 22-yard TD pass to Justin Jenkins.
Madkin completed 12-of-30 passes for 140 yards, but was sacked three times and threw two interceptions.
The Bulldogs have been held under 20 points in all five of their games this season.
The game was Troy State's first against an Southeastern Conference opponent.
The contest was delayed for more than an hour due to a tornado. After Troy State's first score, a tornado was detected 15 miles from the stadium, necessitating the delay.
Let's note a few things here:
- Troy's QB's name that day was Brock Nutter. We got beat by my favorite peanut butter cookie.
- State held under 20 points all five games? NO WAY! That team was a hot garbage mess on offense.
- The game was delayed for a tornado? I had completely forgotten about that. Sometimes you get signs from the man upstairs that it's not your day. Maybe the tornado was ours.
So you might ask why I would choose to highlight a day that we'd all rather forget? One simple reason: don't underestimate the Trojans. Sure, State's 2013 squad is leaps and bounds better than the 2001 team, and far less disfunctional. But that doesn't mean that Troy won't walk into Davis Wade Saturday and try to take down the Bulldogs once more.