Well, Bulldog fans, Saturday's contest did not leave us much to feel great about. Our quarterback got sacked nine times. One of our star receivers is injured. Mississippi State could not manage to avoid giving up big plays. The fourth quarter no-touchdown-allowed streak came to an end. I could really go on and on and on and on....
However, here are five more substantial take aways from this contest:
1. No one is going to want to hear this one, but today's loss is a punishing blow in Mississippi State's quest to move to the top of the SEC pecking order. If Mississippi State was going to beat Alabama, it should have happened last year or this season. With the talent in Starkville now, especially at the quarterback position, one has to wonder if the win did not come Saturday, when will it come.
2. In what might be nothing more than fear-mongering, someone put the question to me this week if Dan Mullen might look around at his talent and the difficulty of Mississippi State and consider leaving Starkville. While I don't imagine that will be the case, it is an interesting thought. If Mullen gets the right offer, will he wonder if he has accomplished all he can in Starkville? If so, will this game be a major cause of that thought?
3. Nine sacks is completely ridiculous. There is not much positive that can be said about the performance of the offensive line in this one. The Alabama defense is brutal, but the quarterback cannot get sacked nine times.
4. If De'Runnya Wilson suffered a serious injury in this game, that will just be like Alabama lit a bag of poo on fire and knocked on the Bulldogs' door. The loss itself was bad enough, but any significant injuries would make it more disappointing.
5. Speaking of disappointing, this contest hinged on a few plays. For a majority of the snaps, Mississippi State played as Alabama's equal. However, when it had to happen, Alabama made plays, and Mississippi State did not. The Bulldogs had many chances to walk away with points and a two-possession lead, but they failed to make it happen. Alabama got one good look at a punt return, and they capitalized. They did so on a few other big plays as well, and that was the difference in this game.
PS--Let's admit this--Devon Bell kicking the game winner against LSU was the right call.
PPS--This game felt like one of those times you watch your favorite wrestler get a crack at the title, only to realize about halfway through they wont win the title, making you wonder when they might.