Countdown to Kickoff: 2 Days

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…

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2.

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.

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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