Dan Mullen: Identifying His Top 10 Wins at Mississippi State

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Nov 23, 2013; Little Rock, AR, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Josh Robinson (34) carries the ball against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second half at War Memorial Stadium. Mississippi State won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Number 9: 2013 at Arkansas

Many people did not expect much from the Bulldogs in 2013. Most people saw the Bulldogs finishing with only 4 or 5 wins and Dan Mullen being placed squarely on the hot seat after a disappointing end to the 2012 season.

The setup
Mississippi State had lost 15 of the previous 17 meetings with the Arkansas Razorbacks, and they had never won in the state of Arkansas. Making this game even more important, the Bulldogs entered the game with a 4-6 record and needing wins against both the Razorbacks and the Rebels to get to a fourth straight bowl game under Dan Mullen, something no other head coach had accomplished in school history.

Arkansas entered this game reeling. This was the first year for new Arkansas Razorbacks Head Football Coach Bret Bielema. It was a difficult year for the Hogs, as they had not won a conference game all season long. This game saw the Razorbacks as a slight favorite, and an opportunity to salvage the season.

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The result
The game was a slug fest. Arkansas on separate occasions went up by a touchdown, once at 10-3 in the first half, and 17-10 before the start of the fourth quarter.

Complicating matters for the Bulldogs was the fact starting quarterback Tyler Russell was not 100% for this game, and breakout sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott was completely unavailable. Dan Mullen played Tyler Russell for most of the game, and he played very well. But on the touchdown pass from Tyler Russell to wide receiver Jameon Lewis to tie the game, Russell would be injured. This would leave the overtime period in the hands of backup quarterback Damian Williams.

Any question about whether or not the moment was too big for Williams was answered immediately. Williams took the first snap from the Arkansas 25 yard line and scampered 25 yards for the go ahead touchdown. Taveze Calhoun would intercept Arkansas Quarterback Brandon Allen on the ensuing possession for the Razorbacks and secured the first ever win for Mississippi State in the state of Arkansas and kept the bowl hopes alive for Dan Mullen and Mississippi State.

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