Mississippi State Football Defensive Film Study: Examining Arizona

STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI - SEPTEMBER 09: Nathaniel Watson #14 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
STARKVILLE, MISSISSIPPI - SEPTEMBER 09: Nathaniel Watson #14 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

Mississippi State football is 2-0 after a stressful victory over Arizona. What did we see from the Bulldogs’ defense?

Mississippi State football emerged victorious against Arizona, and a big reason for that was the Bulldog defense. Despite allowing the Wildcats to move the ball throughout the night, State’s defense made big plays when it mattered most, and that was the difference in the game.

State forced five turnovers on the night, four of which came in the first half. And while the MSU offense only managed to get 14 points off of those turnovers, the defense, at the very least, prevented Arizona from putting more of their own points of the board with those plays.

They buttoned up with the game on the line, holding the Wildcats to a field goal when they were in position for a potential winning touchdown. And in overtime, they stopped Arizona QB Jayden de Laura’s fourth-down scramble attempt just inches short to seal the victory for State.

It was not all pretty. Zona racked up over 430 yards of offense, and when he wasn’t throwing ill-advised interceptions, de Laura had a big day through the air. There are certainly things that are cause for concern with SEC play starting this week.

But ultimately the Bulldog defense made the plays that won the game on Saturday. We broke down the Mississippi State offense in the last film study. Let’s dive into the defense.