We’re counting down to MSU’s season opener against Oklahoma State on Aug. 31, giving you a significant number to ponder as August trudges on. Today’s number is…
It’s not easy to grind out long scoring drives against SEC defenses, and it certainly wasn’t easy for MSU last season. The Bulldogs had only two scoring drives of 80-plus yards, and neither came against an SEC power.
There was an 80-yard, nine-play touchdown drive against South Alabama, a game MSU won 30-10. Then against lowly Kentucky, there was a game-opening 85-yard, 13-play TD drive to spark a 27-14 victory. That, however, was not the longest drive of the season for MSU.
The Bulldogs entered their game against No. 1 Alabama with a 7-0 record and No. 13 national ranking, and left with a humbling 38-7 loss. But there was a moral victory of sorts in the third quarter, when MSU started a drive at its own 2-yard line. Tyler Russell led a march all the way to Alabama’s 1-yard line, and then he was intercepted in the end zone. That’s a 97-yard drive with no points to show for it, but it was still a 97-yard drive (16 plays) against one of the nation’s best defenses.
Perhaps the Crimson Tide subconsciously let up a bit on that drive, but the point is that when all is clicking for MSU’s offense, it can cover some ground. With Russell and a strong running game returning, perhaps this offense can grind it out a little more effectively this year, something that would certainly help this weekend against an Oklahoma State team that likes to move fast.