Mississippi State had more yards and first downs and won the turnover battle. The Bulldogs also held the Aggies 46 yards below their average.
The 556 total yards produced by MSU was the most ever in a Southeastern Conference game under Dan Mullen.
Quarterback Dak Prescott rushed for a career-high 154 yards and threw two touchdowns six days after the death of his mother.
The Bulldogs’ special teams were a disaster. State had a punt blocked for a safety, a field goal blocked, surrendered a 97-yard kickoff return and was flagged for roughing the punter.
Once again, an opponent was able to score just before halftime. The Bulldogs scored a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the first half to pull within 16-14 but allowed a four-play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown 38 seconds later.
Keys to Victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from our GameDay preview)
1. Slow Johnny down
Mississippi State was able to limit Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel to 47 yards on the ground. But Manziel’s 446 yards and five touchdowns through the air were enough to pull A&M through.
Manziel fell seven yards shy of his sixth career 500-yard game – he’s the only player in SEC history to have multiple 500-yard games.
2. Play four quarters
The 27 second half points were the most the Bulldogs have scored in the final two quarters all season. It was just the third time this year MSU has scored more than once in the second half.
The Bulldogs put up points in each quarter.
3. Eliminate turnovers
State committed five turnovers against South Carolina but reduced that to one against the Aggies on Saturday.
The Bulldogs picked off three passes of their own but were only able to cash one into points.
WR De’Runnya Wilson. Caught seven passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns – all career highs. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound true freshman is improving weekly and turning into Mississippi State’s downfield threat. Wilson has caught 10 passes in the last two games after making only seven grabs in the first seven contests.
The Bulldogs’ offense played one of its best games of the season and well enough to outscore most teams. But MSU was unable to keep pace with the high scoring Aggies.
The Bulldogs made progress by showing signs of life in the second half but breakdowns on special teams ultimately cost State the game.