As you were warned yesterday, the month of October should be a bit lacking on the excitement front for Mississippi State football. While the Bulldogs' matchup with Kentucky will not be the least exciting October game for Mississippi State, it should not pack much excitement for Bulldog fans either.
Since Dan Mullen has arrived in Starkville, the Bulldogs have not lost to the Wildcats. In fact, since the year 2000, the Bulldogs have a 10-5 record against the Wildcats which has leveled their all-time record in the series at 21-21.
Last year, the Wildcats provided some drama by keeping their contest with the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs close into the fourth quarter. While a Bulldog victory never seemed in serious doubt, it did take a touchdown kickoff return from Christian Holmes to put the game out of reach.
I hear the arguments now. Four of the last six games in the series has been decided by a touchdown or less. I get it, Kentucky kept creeping within a touchdown of the Bulldogs last year. However, every time Kentucky got it to within one score, the Bulldogs had the answer. Yes, Kentucky and Mississippi State tend to play close games, but the Bulldogs rarely seem to have the win in doubt. That steals some of the drama from the contest.
One has to wonder if the game had been in Starkville last year, would it have been this close? Commonwealth Stadium had an amped up atmosphere, and the Bulldogs were playing their first game ever as the No. 1 team in the nation. If all of that energy had been in Starkville, there is a good chance the game would not have been as competitive.
With the Wildcats coming to Starkville, things should not end up being as close in 2015. The Wildcats only have four victories in Starkville since 1990 (1993, 2002, 2006, 2008). The two teams have had a knack for playing close games in their previous 42 matchups.
Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles put together a great game against Mississippi State, but right now, the junior quarterback finds himself in a battle to keep his position. While Mississippi State fans won't be looking to leave this game at halftime, odds are that some will be thinking about heading back to the tailgate at the start of the fourth quarter.