Mississippi State football fell to Kentucky in Starkville for the first time since 2008. What went wrong for the Bulldogs in yet another frustrating display?
In yet another critical game, Mississippi State football failed to get much of anything going. The Bulldogs fell 24-3 to Kentucky. On a night where MSU was honoring the 1998 SEC West champion squad, they played more like the 2008 team that went 4-8, which ironically, was the last time Kentucky had won in Starkville.
There’s also some irony in the fact the fact that the ’98 team actually lost to Kentucky (who had an OC by the name of Mike Leach). Clearly, Zach Arnett just wanted to properly pay homage to Jackie Sherrill’s West-winners.
Jokes aside, there’s no mistaking this Mississippi State team for any of those groups from the late-90s. Those teams were actually good.
It was more of the same from State: a dreadful performance against a mediocre at best opponent. State could not get anything going at all offensively. Their lone scoring drive was – brace yourselves – a 20-play, 88-yard drive that took 12:29 off the clock and resulted in a…field goal.
Brian Ferentz loved that one.
Mississippi State football film study recap: Everything that went wrong in MSU Bulldogs’ loss to Kentucky wildcats
The defense actually had a solid enough performance. In fact by most standards you’d even call it good. They held Kentucky to 271 yards and only 17 defensive points (the Cats also had a pick-six). I’m probably unfairly reluctant to give the defense much credit because there was still some general sloppiness that led to Kentucky’s scoring drives, and Kentucky seemed to go into “coast” mode once they went up by three touchdowns. Forgive me for not yet trusting the defense to be significantly improved after the way much of the season has gone.
That said, you can’t blame the defense for the game. It’s almost entirely on a pathetic showing from the offense. QB Mike Wright had an abysmal performance, leading to his benching late in the third quarter. Freshman Chris Parson saw his first action of the year, and while his youth showed, the talent he possess flashed. It was a small taste of what the future could hold at the QB position for MSU. That was the lone positive from the offense, but even then, no points resulted from Parson’s entrance to the game. It just was a horrific night on that side of the ball.
We’re going to keep this film study simple. What were the impactful plays that ultimately decided the game?