Mississippi State vs Georgia: Final Score, Analysis, and Highlights

Nov 12, 2022; Starkville, Mississippi, USA;Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Jo'quavious Marks (7) runs the ball against Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Chaz Chambliss (32) during the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Starkville, Mississippi, USA;Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Jo'quavious Marks (7) runs the ball against Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Chaz Chambliss (32) during the fourth quarter at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Georgia Bulldogs were welcomed into Davis Wade Stadium for the first time since 2010 on Saturday night for what they were hoping would be another stepping stone on their way back to the College Football Playoff. After 60 minutes and a hard-fought result of 45-19, all they found was a hungry Mississippi State football team with something to prove. The team from Athens came away with a victory, but it was not without putting some fear into the Georgia fanbase.

Thanks to some exceptional special teams play on a punt-return TD, turnovers, and some stout run defense from the mind of Zach Arnett, MSU showed a lot of fight and resilience when this game could have gotten ugly early.

Play of the Night:

Post-game Quick Thoughts:

  • You can’t make mistakes against the No. 1 team in the country. Missed coverages, bad penalties, poor tackling… the list goes on. I don’t have to sit here and list them all to you, I’m sure you were watching the game too, and if not, use your imagination. I don’t know if it comes down to guys getting frustrated at not making plays that they overcompensate into mistakes, or if it’s simply poor coaching. Either way, that’s the stuff that needs to be cleaned up before we start setting our expectations to championship levels.
  • The returners kept MSU in this game. We are blessed with some extremely special returners in Zavion Thomas and Tulu Griffin. Back-to-back weeks with game-changing returns; they’re truly invaluable assets to this team. The punters must have had quite the week at practice after the Auburn game, they looked better this week, for the most part, putting two punts down inside the 20. Props to George Georgopoulos for selling that roughing-the-punter call, exceptional stuff out there.
  • Mike Leach’s 4th down aggressiveness is just something I’m going to have to get used to. I personally loved the fourth down call in the first quarter, but players have to make plays. Of course, you’re not going to compete with Georgia by punting, but time and time again, it too often ends up putting unnecessary pressure on the defense. The task at hand was enough of an ask, but when the offense isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, it becomes almost impossible.
  • Don’t want to be that guy, but this was a brutal night of officiating. The Nathaniel Watson non-strip fumble gave them three points, but the defense stayed locked in after the call to force the FG after. I don’t understand how you can call forward progress that quickly. The non-intentional grounding before the half gave them seven points when they should have punted the ball and gave MSU one last chance for points at the half. Apparently, I don’t know what a tackle box is, along with both ESPN announcers.
  • Second-half adjustments simply did not happen. The defense got caught flat-footed on the fake reverse that UGA opened the second half with and it went for 70 yards and six points. The offense trots out and tries two passes at the line of scrimmage, now there’s a fun third and long situation. Again, not doing ourselves any favors while trying to pull off an upset over-the-top team in the country.
  • Being plus-two in turnover margin and leaving with a loss is a hard pill to swallow. This team has been consistent in creating turnovers all season, it’s too bad that the offense has not been as consistent in scoring off of those turnovers. The TD on the short field after Tyrus Wheat’s interception was very good though, efficient, and showed urgency in trying to do something about the deficit.

Offensive and Defensive MVPs of the Game:

Offense: Rufus Harvey: 10 Targets, 6 Catches, 66 Yards (36 Long), TD

Defense: Nathaniel Watson: 16 Tackles (5 Solo), 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Pressure

Special Teams: Zavion Thomas: 2 Returns, 71 Yards (63 Long), TD

Up Next:

Mississippi State hosts Eastern Tennessee State on Saturday, November 19th at 11 AM for Senior Day. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+/SEC Network+.