It wasn't the result that the MSU fans were hoping for. The team had won nine consecutive ball games continuing from the 2011 season and the "we believe" movement had united the entire fan base in just a couple of days.But it was a tall task to ask this team to go from beating teams from the Sun Belt to winning on the road against the defending National Champs.
There were several mistakes that snowballed over time to seal the deal for the Bulldogs and with those mistakes came parts of MSU's team that were exposed. Let's take a look at who upped their stock this week and who dropped.
On the rise: Chris Smith: What a game by Smith. Sure it was only three receptions, but he put up 73 yards on those three catches and now has caught at least three passes in all but one game this year and seven straight. He's been a steady contributor for all four years but has taken his hits because of his inability to consistently hang on to the ball after catching it. It seems like that has changed lately and he's starting to re-emerge as the top dawg on the staff. It was definitely a breath of fresh air to have him produce the way he did against the top defense in the country.
On the fall: MSU's Offensive Tackles: Remember last week when the back-up linemen were on this list as the ones falling? This week it was the starters. Albeit this is an Alabama defensive line they were facing, it wasn't pretty. Since those late 90s teams, it doesn't seem like we've had the horses on the outside to protect the quarterback or open up the run against the Bamas and LSUs of the world. At some point this has to improve. Blaine Clausell and Charles Siddoway have done pretty well this season all things considered, but in this one night they were physically out-matched. Hopefully they bounce back this week against a weaker, yet still quick, TAMU front.
Needless to say, this week is huge for the MSU football program. If they are to move forward as a program and emerge as the number three, or even better, west team. A win means that this team is ready for the challenge. A loss means they still have a long way to go. We shall see Saturday morning.