Oct 10, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald (7) celebrates with fans after the game against the Troy Trojans at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 45-17. 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.
Mississippi State had navigated a difficult stretch of the schedule and came out of it with a winning record. There were some obvious missed opportunities for the Bulldogs, but to be 3-2 with back to back SEC Road games against Auburn and Texas A&M behind them, you have to at least be mildly satisfied.
The game against Troy set up to be an easy win. The Trojans were a bad team and didn’t have much to suggest they would be able to keep up with the Bulldogs. And then there was a wrinkle thrown in.
We learned the day of the game Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott was questionable. He had a bad stomach virus and was still not feeling well. Troy wasn’t good, but it still didn’t feel right knowing the star quarterback might not be on the field.
Key Stats and Final Score
- Mississippi State Yards
- Passing: 211
- Rushing: 142
- Troy Yards
- Passing: 112
- Rushing: 125
- Mississippi State Stand Out Performances
- Nick Fitzgerald: 6/7, 141 Passing Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 8 rushes, 29 Yards, 1 Touchdown
- De’Runnya Wilson: 3 Receptions, 82 yards, 1 Touchdown
- Troy Stand Out Performances
- Dontreal Pruitt: 12/17, 90Passing Yards
- Brandon Burks: 15 carries, 86 Yards, 1 Touchdown
- Final Score: Mississippi State 45, Troy, 17
What we thought at the time
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This game had two themes. One was Nick Fitzgerald had the spotlight thrust upon him. The other was the defense played with a nastiness and edge we really hadn’t seen prior to this game.
Dak Prescott played minimally in the game. It wasn’t a surprise because of the stomach virus he was suffering. The Bulldogs had a 14-0 lead, after his second series, so Dan Mullen made the decision to go ahead and pull him and give him a chance to rest and recover.
Nick Fitzgerald played magnificently in Prescott’s place. he accounted for three touchdowns and 170 yards of total offense. he had just one incompletion on the day.
The defense stepped up their game as well. The Bulldogs had not created a significant number of turnovers up to this point in 2015, and the defense of Manny Diaz had two against Troy. One of those was a fumble recovered in the end zone.
The running game was still nonexistent. This continued to add to the frustration of Mississippi State fans. We couldn’t even run the ball against a bad team.
What we should have thought now the season is over
This game played out virtually the way we thought it would. Mississippi State had a 38-0 lead, and then the coaching staff let their foot off the gas and allowed the Trojans to score 17 points.
Perhaps the most significant aspect to this game outside of the play of Nick Fitzgerald was the final field goal tacked on by Troy. Mississippi State was a 30.5 point favorite to win the game and was covering. When Troy decided to kick the field goal with 27 seconds remaining, gamblers who had placed bets on the Bulldogs to cover were handed a “bad beat”.