The streak is over. Mississippi State went into Baton Rouge and walked away with their first victory over the LSU Tigers since 1999 by a score of 34-29. While the Bulldogs became a trendy upset pick in this game during the week, Mississippi State did several things right to make this victory happen.
The one play that stands out the most might be the LSU scoop and score in the first minute of the second half. So many times, that type of play would have wilted the Bulldogs, and I am sure many fans expected that to happen in the following time in the game. Instead, the Bulldogs bounced right back and never allowed LSU to get any closer in the game.
It is so important to capture such things in the instance they occur and not try to read too much into it. The easy assumption will be that the Bulldogs will be able to answer that call each and every time going forward. Time will tell, but the important thing is that Mississippi State made it happen Saturday night against LSU.
One of the things that absolutely impressed me in the contest was the Bulldogs managing to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The offensive line showed that Mississippi State can run a power running game, but it also showed that the defense should be able to pressure opposing offenses this season. Bulldog fans should walk away feeling confident in those two areas for the rest of the season.
Dak Prescott may not win the Heisman. He may not even make it to New York, but he went a long way in establishing himself as the top quarterback in the SEC. He came close to slapping 400 total yards on LSU Saturday night, which is just beyond impressive.
Da'Runnya Wilson looked like he put much of the process of being a wide receiver together Saturday. He used his body to shield off defenders and made a great downfield block on a Prescott touchdown.
The Bulldogs' game plan looked very solid. Gone were the confusing personnel decisions (until the end of the game) and questionable calls. In their place was an aggressive game plan that allowed players to make plays. Dan Mullen has playmakers on this team, and Saturday night, they made the plays for him throughout the game.
I wrote all of that during the fourth quarter, a quarter that left Mississippi State fans feeling scared, and really could it have been any different? The Bulldogs struggled putting this game away late, and had the Tigers not chased points early, this could have been a very interesting finish. The Bulldogs allowing the two easy touchdowns late in the game combined with a terrible snap did not help Mississippi State put this game away in convincing fashion, and that is unfortunate. Mississippi State practically dominated this game from the start until the last five minutes, but it will not look that way to many people who did not watch the game.
With so many calling for the upset and calling this a must-win game, the Bulldogs faced down the spotlight in one of the toughest places to win to pick up what was close to a convincing victory over a top-ten opponent. Now the challenge changes for Mississippi State. No longer is the question can Mississippi State win such games. Now, we will look to see if Mississippi State can keep up such wins. I can't imagine the atmosphere at Davis Wade Stadium in two weeks for the Texas A&M Aggies.