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Feeling Negative about the Mississippi State Win? Just Stop It.

After LSU nearly found a way to steal a victory against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, quite a few fans went from being excited to being a little bit down about the win. If that's you, you need to stop. Here's why.

Derick E.Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

If Bulldog fans had been told they would watch Mississippi State get a five-point win at Death Valley Saturday night against LSU before the kickoff, almost all would have gladly accepted the news and celebrated it accordingly. However, because of the way the fourth quarter played out, many Mississippi State fans are grumbling about the Bulldogs almost blowing the game and Mullen's decision making down the stretch. While these could have been better, today should be about the Bulldogs looking like they might be ready to figure out how to turn the page in the SEC.
Going into Mississippi State's matchup against LSU, I had a cautious optimism that the Bulldogs could take care of business against the Tigers in Death Valley Saturday night. Just objectively looking at the teams should have made anyone feel that way. Mississippi State had more experience on the field, and they had the power rushing attack that had given LSU problems against Wisconsin. However, having the opportunity to win is not the same as winning a game, and in the end, the Bulldogs managed to take care of business. That victory, no matter how much it may have been sullied at the end, is what matters.
Take a stroll back through the game in your head. Mississippi State got off to just about the best start possible. The defense forced a three-and-out, and the offense just moved like a hot knife through butter through the LSU defense to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 on a touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to De'Runnya Wilson.
After forcing another three-and-out, the Bulldogs had to punt, and LSU looked ready to play, driving to the Mississippi State two-yard line. However, the defense stiffened and stopped the Tigers on four-really six if you count the pass interference and the play before it-plays to take the ball back.
The Mississippi State offense responded with a five-play, 98-yard drive that featured two long receptions by Wilson and a three-yard touchdown run by Josh Robinson to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-0. At that point, every Mississippi State fan had to be ecstatic, and just a bit later, the great feeling grew when Evan Sobiesk drilled a 27-yard field goal to put the Bulldogs up 17-0.
The last few minutes of the first half provided a serious heart-stopping moment. Just after Colby Delahoussaye hit a 30-yard field goal to put LSU on the board, Prescott almost made the big mistake that so many Mississippi State fans feared would happen. While attempting to avoid a loss, Prescott attempted some sort of chest pass/shovel pass combination that Robinson had to bat away from an LSU defender. The play was so close to a touchdown that an LSU friend with whom I was watching the game and I both reached for the same bottle of scotch.
It was that play that should have tipped Mississippi State fans that something different had been written into the script of the game. In the past, the Tigers would have managed to have snagged the ball, stroll into the end zone and have all of the momentum going into the second half. However, the ball fell harmlessly to the ground, and for the first time all night, Mississippi State fans had to feel safe thinking about the fact that the Bulldogs could walk out with a win.
Of course, if those fans thought it would be easy, they would have a lot to learn. During halftime, my LSU friend told me how the game was over, and I looked at him and told him I fully expected the game to be tied at the end of the third quarter. Any Bulldog fan knows it never comes that easy.
Right on cue, the ball bounced LSU's way to open the second half when Prescott fumbled on the first play of the half and Danielle Hunter scooped it up and scored to cut the Mississippi State lead to 17-10. That's right, it was sphincter tightening time. But this time, this was different. Prescott rallied the troops, took the field and engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive, one capped off by his 56-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs up 24-10.
The Bulldogs still were not done, and when Prescott improvised and hit Lewis on a 74-yard catch and run touchdown, this Mississippi State fan gladly pronounced the game over. Sorry about that.
The fourth quarter started well enough with another Sobiesk field-goal and the 27-10 lead seemed completely safe. The next 14 or so minutes led to quite a bit of negativity about one of the biggest wins for the Bulldogs in over a decade because LSU scored a touchdown, took advantage of a bad substitution decision to score again, and the had a chance for a final, game-winning score on a final Hail Mary attempt.
So at the end of the day, some Mississippi State fans took to twitter and Facebook to rip the coaching staff and a second string center for "ruining the win." Quite a few fans voiced disappointment-and to a degree, rightfully so-about LSU making a dominant win look so close.
I get the disappointment in the score not looking like a 17-point win or more. Mississippi State dominated to that type of degree, but at the end of the day, a bit of cap tip is owed to LSU. The Tigers never stopped fighting, and hopefully, the Bulldogs will learn from that experience. For those being negative about the win, stop. Is it fair to say it could have been better? Yes. Does it make any sense to be negative about the win? Not at all.
The Bulldogs have been looking for this sort of win for over a decade. The Bulldogs looked like a legit contender in the SEC West, and they found a way to win a game that all too often they would have lost. Will this win translate into nothing but dominance the rest of the way through the SEC? Probably not, and odds are, the Bulldogs will suffer an infuriating or disappointing loss at some point this season. But, that loss did not happen last night. Sit back and enjoy the win because victories such as those have been all too tough to come by for quite some time at Mississippi State.