While the matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats proved to be the worst performance by the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 2013, their season opener against the Oklahoma State Cowboys did not give Bulldog fans much optimism to open the season. In fact, this proved to be a contest that openly frustrated the broadcast team of Jim Ellis and Matt Wyatt during the game.
For those needing a bit of a background on the matchup, Mississippi State ended up scheduling with Oklahoma State after Mississippi Valley State had to be removed from the schedule, and that opened up the season opening date for the contest.
Offensive Performance: 1 out of 5 stars
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Devon Bell, but after that, nothing went right for the Bulldogs when they had the football. Tyler Russell suffered a concussion during the contest, and this is where the door opened for Dak Prescott to start to take over the reigns as the Mississippi State quarterback.
Overall the Bulldogs picked up only 17 first downs, and they only averaged three yards a carry for a total of 111 yards. None of the Bulldog running backs went for more than 50 yards, and Mississippi State failed to find the end zone during the contest.
In addition, the quarterbacks were sacked four times.
Defensive Performance: 3 out of 5 stars
Oklahoma State is a football team that knows how to score points, and in this contest, the Bulldogs held the Cowboys to their lowest point total of the season. The Mississippi State defense found a way to slow down the Oklahoma State offense early, but the diamond formation ended up proving to be too difficult for the Bulldogs to stop. Of course, the fact that Mississippi State made Oklahoma State change their offense on the fly should be commended.
Special Teams: 2 out of 5 stars
This was basically an average special teams' performance by Mississippi State, and that is a good thing for 2013. Bell went 1 for 2, and Taveze Calhoun almost made a game changing play on a blocked field goal at the end of the first half.
Individual Performances: 1 out of 5 stars
No player had an amazing individual performance, but the as a whole the unit looked good. PJ Jones made two backfield stops, and Deontae Skinner did hit double digit tackles in the contest.
Quality of Opponent: 4 out of 5 stars
Oklahoma State proved to be a quality football team in 2013, going 10-2 in the regular season. Had the Cowboys won their final game, they would have been the Big 12 Champions. This was a quality out of conference foe, and a quality atmosphere for a game.
Final Average= 2.2 Stars