Mississippi State’s 10-7 win over No. 22 Florida in the Swamp could have far-reaching implications for both teams, but we’re more concerned with how it works out for the Bulldogs, who stand at 5-2 overall, 2-2 in SEC play. The win certainly opens the door to new possibilities – like a top-25 ranking, perhaps – something I’ll write about for tomorrow’s Journal.
Let’s take another look back at the game, and we’ll start with all the linkage you’ll need.
• From the Orlando Sentinel, a game story
Now let’s hear from coaches and players from last night’s postgame talks. They all realize how huge this win is – or can be – for the program.
Head coach Dan Mullen
• On his offense’s 245 total yards: “The No. 1 stat to me is the win. We’ll take that.”
• On making plays in the fourth quarter: “We got here, we said, look, we’re close a lot of times, we’re just not making that final play. We told our players, this was our night, tonight was our night to make all those plays.”
• On milking the clock the last drive: “I would like to drive down and punch it in. We had some silly penalties, some silly penalties that really killed our drives. You could say we have a lot of things to improve on. We can get a lot better as a football team.”
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz
• On his defense: “We knew if we didn’t give up big plays, we could hammer the run game and get after the quarterback, that was our key to success. And the last thing was, playing in the red zone. We’ve been saying it all year: All we want to do is prevent points.”
• On defending wildcat back/receiver Trey Burton: “It’s annoying when they drive the ball down the field on us, but still, they weren’t getting big plays, we knew we were getting stops in the red zone, because that’s what happens. Eventually it’s hard for an offense to go down the field 12 plays, something like that.”
• On his reaction at the final horn: “I can’t be responsible for what I did. No, it was special. It’s special for everybody in this program, but no doubt being a native of this state, that’s one that you’ll never forget. It was fun.”
Linebacker Chris White
• On Florida’s offense: “The second half we knew they were going to come out swinging, so we had to come out swinging back.”
• On K.J. Wright‘s fumble recovery in the fourth quarter: “When that ball went on the ground, I was like, please get it. And K.J. got it. He was on the ground, and I went over there and jumped at him, and I was like, ‘I got you, K.J.,’ all in his face the whole time.”
Linebacker K.J. Wright
• On defending Burton: “Toward the end of the game, we started figuring out what they were doing, and we were able to stop them.”
• On Diaz’s calls: “He called the right stuff at the right time. His situation is just made for us, for situations like that, toward the end of the game.”