Both the Mississippi State football team and myself have arrived at M.M. Roberts Stadium for a late night kickoff tonight in Hattiesburg. It’s just my second time at “The Rock” having covered a Sunday night game against Central Florida back in 2007. It’s currently lightning outside the stadium so it’s possible a late kickoff could get even later.
Due to the late kickoff, we won’t be able to get this game in the actual paper in the morning but we will have our usual full coverage online and then available in Monday’s print copy.
The Bulldogs are currently wearing the same white jerseys they wore in the Orange Bowl. I’ll have more updates throughout the game so stay tuned.
Rain has now started to fall but it’s still two hours until kickoff.
Southern Miss is wearing black helmets, black facemasks, black jerseys and black pants. Basically all black everything.
Cornerback Taveze Calhoun is not going through pregame drills. He is wearing a brace on his left knee and walking with a slight limp. MSU has confirmed that Calhoun will not play tonight and Tolando Cleveland will start in his place. It will be Cleveland’s first start.
Also making his first career start is defensive tackle Nick James. Wide receciver De’Runnya Wilson is going through pregame drills.
Fletcher Adams, Keith Joseph, Tim Washington, Farrod Green, Leo Lewis, Harrison Moon, Michael Story and Kendell Jones are here but not dressed out for pregame warm-ups.
Nick Mullens is named the starting quarterback for Southern Miss.
Captains for MSU: Dak Prescott, Ryan Brown, Taveze Calhoun and Will Redmond.
MSU wearing glossy maroon helmets with white facemasks, white jerseys and white pants.
USM wins the toss and will receive.
Gerri Green, Jamal Peters and Brandon Bryant make their collegiate debuts on the kickoff team. Devon Bell kicking off.
Gerri Green makes the tackle on the opening kickoff. Chris Jones makes the first tackle from scrimmage.
A.J. Jefferson gets the first penalty of the year for being offsides.
Kendrick Market started the game at safety.
Johnathan Calvin and Will Coleman make their debuts.
USM’s opening drive nets three first downs before turning it over on downs at the 33.
First play from scrimmage for MSU is a pass from Dak Prescott to Gus Walley for 2 yards. After a 43-yard pass from Prescott to Fred Ross, Ashton Shumpert fumbles at the goal line and is recovered by Devonta Foster. The fumble was forced by D’Nerius Antoine.
Ross muffs a punt and USM’s Curtis Mikell recovers at the 10-yard line.
Ryan Brown with a sack.
Stephen Brauchle with a 31-yard field goal, 3-0 USM 5:39 1st.
Brandon Holloway and Gabe Myles back to return the kickoff.
Holloway with a 100-yard kickoff return. Westin Graves PAT, 7-3 MSU 5:26 1st
Mullens with a 19-yard touchdown to Jay’Shawn Washington. Brauchle PAT, 10-7 USM 2:20 1st.
USM’s Evan Osborne recovers an onside kick.
Jefferson with a sack.
With 31-seconds left in the first quarter, MSU’s offense takes the field for the second time.
END 1ST QUARTER: SOUTHERN MISS 10, MISSISSIPPI STATE 7
Chris Rayford debuts on punt return.
Devon Bell with the first punt.
State’s run defense has been stout. Secondary has been suspect.
Beniquez Brown with a blocked punt.
True freshman Justin Johnson debuts for MSU.
Prescott with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Justin Johnson. Graves PAT, 14-10 MSU 10:57 2nd. That touchdown ties Prescott with Tyler Russell for the most in school history with 42.
Sophomore wide receiver Donald Gray debuts for MSU.
Jefferson with his second sack.
Former MSU commitment Norman Price with his second false start tonight.
True freshman wide receiver Malik Dear makes his MSU debut.
Ross having a tough night since that opening drive. Two drops and a muffed punt.
After a wacky play to get USM down to the goaline, MSU’s defense posts a stand and takes over at the 1.
Prescott with his first carry of the night with 1:29 left in the opening half.
Will Redmond picks off Mullens.
HALFTIME: MISSISSIPPI STATE 14, SOUTHERN MISS 10
Hey, Brett Favre and Clarence Weatherspoon are here.
Key halftime stats:
1st Downs: MSU 5, USM 12
Rushing yards: MSU 41, USM 28
Passing yards: MSU 78, USM 208
Total yards: MSU 119, USM 236
Turnovers: MSU 2, USM 1
Penalties: MSU 2-10, USM 5-39
Possession time: MSU 6:41, USM 23:19
Rushing: MSU – Brandon Holloway 2-35; USM – Jalen Richard 14-39
Passing: MSU – Dak Prescott 8-14-78-1-0; USM – Nick Mullens 18-25-208-1-1
Receiving: MSU – Justin Johnson 2-17-TD, Fred Ross 1-44; USM – Michael Thomas 4-33, Brian Anderson 2-53
Tackles: MSU – A.J. Jefferson 7; USM – Elijah Parker 3
Attendance: 36,641, a new stadium record.
Southern Miss only has one player with multiple tackles.
Gerri Green bobbles the opening kickoff and MSU starts from its own 5.
Prescott’s second carry of the game goes for 49-yards.
Prescott with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Gus Walley. Graves PAT, 21-10 MSU 12:15 3rd. That touchdown gives Prescott the MSU record for career touchdown tosses.
Richie Brown picks off Mullens and returns it to the 40-yard line.
Wide receiver Jesse Jackson makes his debut for MSU.
Graves with a 38-yard field goal, 24-10 MSU 10:36 3rd
Brauchle with a 27-yard field goal, 24-13 MSU 8:37 3rd.
Graves with a 36-yard field goal, 27-13 MSU 4:02 3rd.
END 3RD QUARTER: MISSISSIPPI STATE 27, SOUTHERN MISS 13
Brauchle with a 27-yard field goal, 27-16 MSU 13:01 4th
It’s now Sunday.
Wilson just made his first catch of the night.
Jamoral Graham downed Logan’s punt at the 4-yard line.
Headed down to the field, I’ll update when I get back to the press box.
Prescott with a 7-yard touchdown run. Graves PAT, 34-16 MSU 5:55 4th
FINAL: MISSISSIPPI STATE 34, SOUTHERN MISS 16