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Mississippi State Football back in the Top 25, ranked 24th

It took everything, and the Bulldogs took it to Auburn, resulting in a respectful ranking.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, this year’s Mississippi State team lived up to and exceeded expectations against one of the nation’s most promising squads in Auburn. Following two crushing losses against Kentucky and Florida, the Bulldogs needed this one and earned it. Davis Wade was electric and the tone was set from there.

This game was pivotal and a make or break. Having taken down a top 10 team, it was only right that Mississippi State be ranked again. Now 24th in the nation, the Bulldogs have learned a couple of lessons going forward, most notably running the football. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and running back Kylin Hill combined for 321 yards on the ground, as Mississippi State now knows their potential in that respect.

The schedule will only get harder and the Bulldogs must utilize their rushing attack. That said, Mississippi State must also recognize its rush defense. The two have not been a top priority until this past Saturday.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Montez Sweat put forth three solo tackles and three sacks. With LSU next on the schedule, the Bulldogs know their strengths on both sides of the ball. Though this one was sweet, there is no room for time off.

While they may not be to contend for a national championship, Mississippi State can put itself in position to make a statement. As to what type of statement, that we don’t know, but can expect something of substance. In the ever competitive SEC, nobody knows what can happen. But they know what it means to play spoiler and showed it.

The Bulldogs will have to embrace that role going forward and use their strengths from start to finish. They can potentially shake a lot of things up throughout the top 25. But right now it’s about LSU and whether or not Mississippi State can steal one in Baton Rouge, a task that will be anything but easy in Death Valley