By Logan Lowery
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Mississippi State has never advanced to four consecutive bowl games in school history.
The Bulldogs (4-6, 1-5) have to win their two remaining games to become bowl eligible. But to do so, MSU will have to make some more history of its own by defeating Arkansas inside its own borders today at 11:21 a.m.
The Razorbacks are 9-0-1 against the Bulldogs in the state of Arkansas including 6-0-1 in Little Rock, the site of this year’s contest.
History within reach
“Obviously there’s a lot of history still available for this team,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “Mississippi State’s never been to four straight bowl games so that opportunity is still alive. From what they’ve told me, we’ve never won in the state of Arkansas so there’s the opportunity to do that as well. There’s some great opportunities for us this week.”
The Hogs hold the series lead 15-7-1 having won three of the last four meetings. State defeated Arkansas 45-14 in Starkville last year racking up 505 yards of offense. Tyler Russell threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns against the Razorbacks with LaDarius Perkins rushing for 91 yards and catching two scores.
The Bulldogs do not have consecutive victories in the series since winning three straight in 1916, 1939 and 1992.
Mississippi State has dropped three straight games entering today’s game and have suffered injuries to its top two quarterbacks in consecutive games. Dak Prescott went down with a nerve injury to his shoulder late against Texas A&M and did not dress last week. Tyler Russell took a blow to his shoulder during the fourth quarter of the Alabama game and missed the final three series.
Both quarterbacks are listed a day-to-day and their status will remain in question until after pregame warm-ups.
True freshman Damian Williams has received most of the reps at quarterback in practice this week. Williams has appeared in just three games this season, all of which came at home. He has completed 11 of 23 passes for 152 yards and an interception while rushing 14 times for 14 yards.
It is possible that Williams starts today’s outing against the Razorbacks. If that does occur, Mullen is confident in Williams’ abilities.
“He had opportunities in training camp to learn the system behind two veteran guys really helped him,” Mullen said. “Because of different injuries throughout the year, he’s been the two going into games and gotten those reps and preparation. He’s comfortable in the whole entire offense. We’ll try to protect him a little bit in how much he has to check and different adjustments he has to make to try and take some of that pressure off of him.”
Arkansas enters the game at 3-7 having lost seven straight games. The Hogs are winless in conference play at 0-6 and have had an extra week to prepare for the game due to a bye.