MSU topped South Carolina in most statistical categories in all three phases Saturday. The Bulldogs had 78 more yards, 11 more first downs, had possession seven minutes longer and ran 24 more plays.
MSU was also able to hold the Gamecocks to just 1-of-11 on third down conversions and posted seven three-and-out drives during the contest.
Turnovers killed five scoring opportunities and led to 20 points the other way. State had six turnovers all season and had surrendered only three points off them entering the weekend.
Dak Prescott had career-highs completing 28 of 48 passing for 235 yards but was also responsible for four of the Bulldogs turnovers – three interceptions and a fumble.
Keys for Victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from our GameDay preview)
1. Stop the momentum
Mississippi State held the Gamecocks to a three-and-out on their opening drive and was able to score on its which silenced the crowd momentarily. However, the Bulldogs threw interceptions on their third and fourth drives, which both resulted in easy touchdowns.
2. Play four quarters
Once again MSU failed to play well in the second half. The Bulldogs trailed by a touchdown at halftime but were shut out 17-0 in the third quarter.
Halftime adjustments are critical in college football. MSU has been outscored 98-54 in the second half this season.
3. Shaw sack redemption
The Bulldogs made things easy for South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw, setting him up with short fields due to turnovers. Shaw did not have a particularly good day throwing the ball (10 of 20, 147 yards) but his four TDs speak volumes.
Mississippi State managed just one sack during the game from Benardrick McKinney but were credited with five quarterback hurries. The Bulldogs failed to create a turnover on defense for the second straight game.
P Devon Bell has been erratic with his field goal kicking (5-of-11) but punted five times, pinning four inside the 20-yard line – including one at the 5.
Bell finished with a 47.6 average, including a 62-yarder that was the longest for MSU since 2010.
Eight games into the year and the Bulldogs have yet to play a complete game. State has started strong and put itself into position to win by halftime but the second half has been disastrous all year. Saturday’s game was no different.