Mississippi State Report Card vs. Arkansas


Grades for the Bulldogs in their 51-50 win vs. the Razorbacks…

Offense: A

I’d say A+, but they did turn the ball over twice. State had 631 total yards. Dak Prescott had his first 500+ yard passing performance with five touchdowns, plus he added two more on the ground.

Brandon Holloway and Ashton Shumpert actually produced a halfway decent running game with 85 combined yards on 17 carries.

It was a really impressive showing from the receiving corps:

  • 10 receivers caught a pass
  • six had at least three catches
  • two had at least 10 catches (Ross, Wilson)
  • two had at least 100 yards (Ross, Holloway)

Defense: C

You give up 50 points and you’d have to assume at best a ‘D’ but I think we knew Arkansas was going to move the ball in this game. They were on fire coming in, averaging 50.25 points in their last four games……so MSU gave up the average.

Alex Collins was held in check as the Hogs only ran for 73 yards all night. While the pass defense was exploited, they held up just enough and forced a handful of three and outs that allowed MSU to win it.

And really, 21 of those 50 points were given up with starting field position in MSU territory due to turnovers.

Special Teams: D

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The only reason they don’t get an F is because of Beniquez Brown’s field goal block to secure the win. Other than that it wasn’t pretty.

Holloway fumbled on the 2nd half opening kickoff. Westin Graves missed an extra point. Devon Bell had a kickoff go out of bounds…at a critical point in the game.

Graves did make a field goal, however, and I guess that was ultimately the difference in the final score. Arkansas didn’t make their lone attempt.

Coaching: A+

When Arkansas is sandwiched in between Alabama and Ole Miss like it is most every year, it’s probably the toughest game MSU plays all season. Or at least it used to be that way.

Dan Mullen did a great job of keeping the focus on UPig. No hangover from Alabama and no looking forward to Ole Miss. The Dawgs came out with guns blazing and got a win in a place they used to never win. And now they’ve won twice in a row in Arkansas and four in a row in a series Arkansas used to dominate.

If not for the turnovers this game would’ve been a route. And those turnovers where all about player execution, not coaching. Excellent job by the staff to get this win.