It might seem a little bit strange that a touchdown drive in a game Mississippi State lost, and in a game where they scored six touchdowns, would be listed as the 6th biggest moment of the calendar year. But for what this drive did – for the way it seemed to kick-start the team and propel them to another level that eventually led to bowl eligibility – for that it has extra meaning and makes the list.
In a vacuum, any 96 yard drive is excellent. This one had even higher stakes though. MSU was down 30-14 late in the 3rd quarter. Nickoe Whitley had just intercepted Johnny Manziel at the MSU 4 yard line. This drive did a couple of things to erase what MSU had been struggling with all year:
- 2nd half offense
- it was the first time MSU had scored off a turnover in SEC play despite having six prior chances
It was a brilliant drive….
- Dak keeps it on the read option for a 3 yard gain – he does a FLIP at the end. A complete flip.
- Same play again but this time for 14 yards and no flip at the end
- Play-action pass to Robert Johnson on a curl route – 12 yard gain
- Dak takes a QB draw for 13 yards – he lost the football at the end of the run but was able to dive on it
- Prescott hits a sliding Fred Brown for 19 yards and another first down
- Perkins straight ahead gets hit at the line, gain of 2 yards
- Dak hits Fred Brown again on a nice back shoulder throw for 18 yards
- Bear Wilson wasn’t able to come up with a touchdown catch on a perfectly placed ball in the corner of the endzone – a tough catch but it could have been caught, incomplete pass
- Perkins with a catch in the flat for a 13 yard touchdown
- Mullen elected to go for two and it was no good – tried to hit Malcolm Johnson but it was batted away
Prescott was 4 of 5 for 62 yards and ran 3 times for 30 yards.
MSU and A&M traded touchdowns over the next few drives but State found themselves down 51-27. They still continued to press on and made it 51-41 with a couple of minutes left to play and all three timeouts. Unfortunately the on-side kick didn’t work and the Aggies sealed the victory, but the 2nd half performance sparked by this drive led to better things in the coming weeks. State played Alabama tight for 60 minutes, won in Arkansas for the first time ever and won the Egg Bowl as an underdog. I think the Bulldogs were a different team after this drive from who they were the first 8 1/2 games of the year.