It was a game of missed opportunities for Mississippi State.
Mississippi State forced four turnovers on the night but only found a way to score seven points off those turnovers. That was a stout obstacle to overcome, especially when Dak Prescott did not dress for the game and would never be available. Despite all that, Mississippi State had chances to put pressure on the number one ranked team in the country all the way up to the fourth quarter.
The game might have been decided in the second quarter. Mississippi State trailed only 3-0 toward the end of the second quarter and had successfully driven the ball from the 20 yard line all the way down to the Alabama one. Mississippi State would be stuffed short of the end zone on the next three plays and forced to kick a field goal. State continues to struggle to find a kicker who can put the ball through the uprights and would walk away with 0 points. Alabama would then take the ball the length of the field and score their only touchdown of the first half. It was the fifth time that Mississippi State had given up a touchdown right before the close of the half.
Mississippi State continued to have opportunities in the second half. AJ McCarron would throw an uncharacteristic interception to Taveze Calhoun who returned it to the Alabama 37. But Tyler Russell was injured in the previous drive trying to tackle after an ill advised throw led to his own interception, and he did not play the rest of the game. That meant Damian Williams was forced to play, and the team’s only first down came on a facemask penalty.
Mississippi State will head to Little Rock where they have never won, but they haven’t lost to an Arkansas coach in his first year at the school. Game starts at 11:21 on the SEC Network. Here are the stats from the game:
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush