Mississippi State football vs. Arizona: The Good, Bad and Ugly

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Mississippi State football quarterback Will Rogers carries the ball

STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI – SEPTEMBER 09: Will Rogers #2 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs carries the ball during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Mississippi State vs. Arizona – The bad:14 points off of FIVE turnovers

Sure, the offensive troubles of MSU are well documented, but the one thing that could have easily masked the struggles would have been to capitalize early on turnovers.

Arizona turned the ball over on their first 4 possessions.

The result? Just a 14-0 lead for the Bulldogs.

This game had the chance to be over in the first quarter just by scoring after every turnover, but offensive woes beginning with a fumble into, and out of, the end zone left the door open for Arizona to stay in the game.

Maybe I’m over-simplifying the game, but on the most basic level, taking advantage of turnovers and miscues by the opponent is the easiest way to win the game. Being up 28-0 or even 24-0 completely changes the outlook of the game. Suddenly no one would care about the play calling or only having 100 passing yards in the 4th quarter.

Ok, we’d probably still care, but it wouldn’t seem like the sky was falling on every message board and Facebook group*.

If you want to have a chance at a truly special season, you’ll have to take every advantage you can over the competition.

*Apparently the Facebook groups are only concerned with Arnett’s “strong” language in postgame interviews.

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