2015 Mississippi State Football Rewind: Southern Miss


Sep 5, 2015; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen with his players before they enter M.M. Roberts Stadium to play the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over, we take a look back at each game and how it played out.

The Setup

Mississippi State entered the game against Southern Miss as heavy favorites. Southern Miss was still trying to emerge from the mess Ellis Johnson had left behind. Adding even further intrigue to the game was Barrett Sallee’s declaration the Southern Miss game was the most likely trap game for the Bulldogs as they entered 2015, which Mississippi State fans did not find amusing.

The game didn’t start until slightly after 9:00. It was televised by Fox Sports, and they had an MMA undercard fight they were showing at 8:00 that night. So Mississippi State and Southern Miss kicked off after 9 and didn’t end until somewhere close to 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Key Stats and Final Score

  • Mississippi State Yards
    • Passing: 237
    • Rushing: 205
  • Southern Miss
    • Passing: 311
    • Rushing: 105
  • Mississippi State Stand Out Performances
    • Dak Prescott: 305 Total Yards and 3 Touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing)
    • Fred Ross: 5 Receptions, 75 yards
  • Southern Miss Stand Out Performances
    • Nick Mullens: 311 Yards Pasing, 1 Touchdown and 2 Interceptions
    • Ito Smith: 8 Carries for 69 Yards
  • Final Score: Mississippi State 34, Southern Miss 16

What we thought at the time

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Most Mississippi State fans were not pleased with this game. The Bulldogs struggled to put the Golden Eagles away, and didn’t do so for good until there was about six minutes in the fourth quarter.

No one liked the fact Nick Mullens moved the football up and down the field. The defense was not showing much of an ability to stop anything Southern was doing in the passing game. And when Mississippi State only led 14-10 at half time, things were looking bad.

There were many who thought this performance was an indication that all the preseason predictions about the Bulldogs were right, and the team would be lucky to get to 6 wins.

What we should have thought now the season is over

A lot of people thought Southern Miss was going to be better than the previous three seasons, but not anywhere close enough to be able to give the Bulldogs a fight. But we all underestimated just how much better this team was.

The Golden Eagles went 9-3 in the regular season with their only losses coming to Mississippi State, Nebraska, and Marshall. All of which were good teams, with the possible lone exception of Nebraska. But even the Cornhuskers, who lost 7 games, lost all 7 of their games by a combined 31 points. So Southern was really good this year.

Southern Miss was so good, they won their division in Conference USA and played Western Kentucky for the championship. There is a really bright future for the Golden Eagles, especially if they can hold on to their coach Todd Monken for the foreseeable future.

Next: What Impact would Josh Robinson have had on Mississippi State?

This ended up being a nice win in the feather of Dan Mullen’s cap. No one is saying Southern Miss could have done this in the SEC (well, maybe they could have in the East) but putting up 9 wins isn’t easy. And to do it for the first game of the season on the road was impressive. We just didn’t know it at the time.