Mississippi State football but together another disappointing performance in their loss to Auburn. In a game that Bulldogs badly needed to win, what went wrong?
If you thought a 7-3 victory over a 2-win Arkansas team had turned around the season for Mississippi State football, I regret to inform you that you were mistaken. Whatever little bit of momentum the Bulldogs had captured with their first SEC win of the season, the relinquished it against Auburn.
In a game that was very much winnable, MSU reverted back to much of what we’ve seen from them this season. The defense was shredded in the first half by an Auburn offense that had been terrible since mid-September. State’s offense was able to move the ball some, but untimely errors prevented them from turning yards into points.
The Bulldogs found themselves down 24-3 at halftime. Though State is no stranger to making a 3-plus touchdown comeback on the Plains, this version of the Bulldogs wasn’t equipped to storm back from 21 down in the way that a Mike Leach-led team was.
Mississippi State’s defense played much better in the second half, surrendering just three points after the break. And the offense managed to convert on a few scoring opportunities to keep the miniscule hopes at a comeback alive. But when the time came to make the plays necessary to actually threaten the Tigers, they couldn’t do it. And State took a loss against the weakest remaining SEC opponent on their schedule when the margins for bowl-eligibility look incredibly thin.
It was not total incompetence from MSU, which we’ve unfortunately seen at times this year. There were some positives on both sides of the ball. But frankly, I’m not sure anyone is particularly interested in hearing about them, and I wouldn’t blame them. I don’t see much point in taking the time to break them down.
Trust me, I hate sitting down to discuss ugly play again and again. It got old a long time ago. But the negatives have far outweighed the positives all season, and we’re past looking for silver linings. The conversation at this point is almost entirely about what’s gone wrong. We might as well keep it up.
So, here’s what went wrong for Mississippi State football against Auburn.