2015 Mississippi State Football Rewind: Northwestern State


Sep 19, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs players celebrate after the game against the Northwestern State Demons at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 62-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-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 was looking to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the LSU Tigers from the prior week. The best remedy for such a recovery would be an FCS team that had almost no chance of doing anything positive all day long.

Key Stats and Final Score

  • Mississippi State Yards
    • Passing: 372
    • Rushing: 275
  • Northwestern State Yards
    • Passing: 111
    • Rushing: 146
  • Mississippi State Stand Out Performances
    • Dak Prescott: 10/11, 227Yards Passing, 2 Touchdowns
    • Donald Gray: 4 Receptions, 140 yards, 1 Touchdown
  • Northwestern State Stand Out Performances
    • J.D.d: 2/3, 28 Yards Passing
    • De’Mard llorens: 10 Carries for 47 Yards
  • Final Score: Mississippi State 62, Northwestern State 13

What we thought at the time

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This game was all about trying to figure out how quickly we were going to be able to get the starters off the field and let some reserves find some playing time. Once the Bulldogs took a commanding lead, Mississippi State fans stayed tuned in to see how the team redshirt freshmen quarterbacks would handle themselves in their first significant playing time.

Both Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley played and they played well. Fitzgerald went 4-4 with 90 passing yards and a touchdown. He also added another 28 yards rushing and two additional touchdowns in the game. Elijah Staley looked sharp as well. Staley completed two of three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown.

This was also the first time we saw Donald Gray be a major contributor to the offense. His four catches for 140 yards stood out among a relatively large number of stellar performances, and one of those catches was a fantastic circus catch.

The only cause for alarm was Mississippi State’s defense allowed the Northwestern State’s defense to drive the ball right down their throats at the beginning of the second half. It led to a pretty ticked off Dan Mullen to go off on Manny Diaz on the sideline.

What we should have thought now the season is over

There was very little to take away from this game. It was supposed to be an easy win for the Bulldogs and it was. There was little point in overanalyzing anything from a game where Mississippi State was supposed to win convincingly and did so.