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Mississippi State vs. Georgia Tech: Five Takeaways

It was a bitter end to a great season for the Bulldogs by losing the Orange Bowl. Here are five things we took away from the defeat.

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Geoff Collins' presence wouldn't have made a difference

When you give up 453 rushing yards and the majority of them come on dive plays straight up the middle, it doesn't have much to do with defensive game plan. The Georgia Tech offensive line flat out controlled the game pretty much from start to finish. We all knew the MSU defensive line would have to be dominant to slow down the triple option, and it just didn't happen. Geoff Collins wasn't on the sideline for everybody to point the finger at this time. You can't place the blame on Deshea Townsend either. There's no way around it... Georgia Tech just wanted it more and was more physical at the line of scrimmage. That triple option really is a thing of beauty when you have a quarterback that knows how to run it.

MSU needs to find playmakers in the secondary

It wasn't only the run game that Georgia Tech excelled at Wednesday night. They didn't throw the ball much, but when they did, it worked. Receivers were left wide open, and the Jackets connected on several long passing plays. It's been the same story all season. Once again, I don't think you can place all the blame on the coaches for this game or for the secondary play all season. Well, I take that back. You can't place all the blame on them until they send the 1B's out there to get burned every time. The bottom line is that State just doesn't have any elite cover players back there outside of Will Redmond. I think it's obvious at this point that the secondary is a major need in the upcoming recruiting classes. Jamal Peters is a big four star recruit in this current class that will have every opportunity to come in and start right away.

Tackling continues to be a problem

Ok, this is the last one for the defense, I promise. Whoever the new defensive coordinator is has to come in and go back to the basics of football. Way too many players try to lower their shoulder and hit the ball carrier instead of attempting to wrap up. On some plays, it's flat out embarrassing, like when Taveze Calhoun was ran smooth over by that Georgia Tech running back. It wasn't just this game. It's been several this season. Will Redmond was embarrassed in the Egg Bowl when he tried to bump into Walton and knock him down, and the result was a 90+ yard touchdown run. When you think about it, the defense was really a huge disappointment this year. They had all the potential in the world and didn't live up to it because they couldn't do little things right, like tackle.

The future is bright for this offense

On a night where nothing seemed to go right, Dak Prescott did throw for over 450 yards, and three receivers had 100 yard games. The passing game can really shine with the right play calls. We all know De'Runnya Wilson is on his way to stardom, but look at what Fred Ross has done this year. He is going to be a solid #2 receiver next year, and I would go as far as to say he could be the #1 receiver in 2015. Between Wilson, Ross, Morrow, Myles, Graham, and the speedsters that are being added with the 2015 class, Dak Prescott will have a heck of a receiving corp next year. If he returns to campus, the offense has a chance to be even better next year. Yes, Josh Robinson is leaving for the NFL, but when is the last time MSU had a bad running back? They will be fine. Ashton Shumpert, Aeris Williams, and Dontavian Lee are all capable backs. The skill position will be as loaded as it's ever been for Mississippi State next year. The only question mark is the offensive line.

This season really had a 2012 feel to it

Well this season ended exactly how every Mississippi State fan hoped it wouldn't, like the 2012 season. After a 7-0 start that year, MSU lost five out of its last six games, including the bowl game, to finish the season 8-5. This year's 9-0 start was shot down by losing three of the final four. Obviously the Egg bowl and Orange Bowl losses sting the most to the majority of MSU fans, and just going 1-1 in those two games would have made the season feel a lot different. Nonetheless, it was still a great season for Mississippi State and one of the best in its history. It's been a heck of a ride and a lot of fun to watch. Next year can't get here soon enough.