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Ranking the Mississippi State Football Performances of 2013: No. 8-South Carolina

From the start of the season, many Mississippi State fans felt that a win over South Carolina could be the big upset for the Bulldogs to spring in 2013. Instead, the Gamecocks handled the Bulldogs in Columbia.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

When the Mississippi State Bulldogs traveled to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks, many Mississippi State fans had a feeling that the Bulldogs might spring the big upset on the road in Columbia. Close contests between the two teams have occurred quite often, but in 2013, this would not be the case as the Bulldogs dropped a 34-16 decision to South Carolina.

Offensive Performance: 1 out of 5 Stars

Going into the game, no one knew the circumstances surround Dak Prescott and the fact that his mother would soon pass away. Given those circumstances and the fact that South Carolina can play good defense, the struggles of the quarterback and the offense are quite understandable.

On the day, the Bulldogs turned the ball over five times, and could not stay out of their own way. They did a good job moving the ball, but could not finish drives. All too often, a turnover led to a short field for the Gamecocks.

Defensive Performance: 3 out of 5 Stars

Even though the team gave up 34 points in the contest, the Bulldogs' defense still played well. The fact is that this unit was often put in bad positions by the offense, and more often than not, that leads to defense breaking. The one knock on the defense this game is the lack of turnovers. When the offense is struggling, the defense has to find a way to make a big play. Mississippi State did not do that in this game by forcing a turnover or making many plays in the South Carolina backfield.

Special Team Performances: 4 out of 5 Stars

Believe it or not, there was a game that featured Mississippi State putting together an above average performance out of the special teams. Devon Bell punted well in the game, twice booming punts of over 50 yards and pinning the Gamecocks inside the 20 on two occasions. He also kicked off four times, with two resulting in touchbacks.

Evan Sobiesk converted on his only field goal attempt, making one from 38 yards out late in the second quarter.

Individual Performances: 2 out of 5

Prescott showed guts just by coming out and competing in the game against South Carolina. Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis both hauled in seven catches in the contest.

Quality of Opponent: 4 out of 5 stars

South Carolina hovered around the top-ten all season, and they finished ranked ninth in the final BCS standings ever. Two tough losses to Georgia and Tennessee are all that kept the Gamecocks out of Atlanta this season.

Final Average: 2.8 Stars