Mississippi State lost to Texas A&M Saturday afternoon, and boy it wasn't pretty. Well, I'm here to tell you everything you could’ve taken away from that game.
If you read any of my game recaps for the men’s basketball team last season, you know that I always start with the negative takeaways to get the bad stuff out of the way first. Here we go.
A dropped pass on the first play of the game by Kylin Hill led to a three-and-out and concluded with the Aggies going up by a touchdown on their second drive. The Bulldogs showed life at times, but it was essentially over after the first drive. The defense constantly got gashed, made Kellen Mond look like one of the best quarterbacks in the Southeastern Confrence, and only forced three punts the entire game — the other seven drives for Texas A&M ended in a touchdown. Mississippi State’s defense gave up 441 total yards and have gone from having one of the longest takeaway streaks in the nation, to having zero in two straight games. The offense had three turnovers, converted 4-for-11 (36.3%) on third downs, and Garrett Shrader was 13-for-30 (43.3%) throwing the ball. This team has looked very out of place this season and they’re going to have to give everything they’ve got to reach a bowl game.
Mississippi State finished with 433 total yards which is the second-most in a game this season. Kylin Hill finally looked like Kylin Hill when he was running the ball. He finished the day with 150 rushing yards on 21 attempts and a touchdown. Hill had three big runs during the game, Those runs went for 38, 39 and 18 yards. Those runs accounted for 95 of his 150 total yards. For the first time in the Moorhead era, the offense looked like “Moorhead’s offense” against a Power 5 team, but that was only on one drive. After going down 14-0 late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs responded by going 75 yards in four plays. Hill had one of his big runs on this drive that set up Shrader finding Stephen Guidry in the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown. That offensive efficiency is what Moorhead’s offense is supposed to look like consistently. The only problem is finding that consistency. Isaiah Zuber finished the game with three catches, 58 yards and two scores. This was Zuber’s biggest impact all season after transferring iwith a lot of expectations falling on him.
Mississippi State is currently on a four-game losing streak, and that hasn't happened since 2005 when the Bulldogs finished the season with only three wins. The Bulldogs still have a good chance to make a bowl, but the only way to do it is win on the road against a Power 5 team. Moorhead has only completed that feat twice and both times were last season. I’m still optimistic about their chances to make a bowl, but something has to happen to find the consistency on offense. Go Dawgs and Hail State!