Troy-MSU notebook: Defense sets the pace

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Mississippi State defensive back Jamerson Love reaches up and intercepts a pass intended for Troy wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser before running 70 yards into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday night's game in Starkville.

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal
Mississippi State defensive back Jamerson Love reaches up and intercepts a pass intended for Troy wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser before running 70 yards into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday night’s game in Starkville.

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Last season Mississippi State’s defense was torched by Troy for 573 yards.

This year however it was the Bulldogs defense that set the tone on the game’s first two drives creating a pair of turnovers.

Those turnovers led to an early 10-0 lead for MSU en route to a 62-7 victory over the Trojans.

Jamerson Love got things going for the Bulldogs on the opening drive picking off Corey Robinson for a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown. The junior cornerback from Aberdeen’s return tied for the 12th longest in school history and was the second of his career.

Facing 3rd-and-goal from the MSU 7-yard line on Troy’s second drive, the Bulldogs defense stepped up once again.

Linebacker Matthew Wells sacked Deon Anthony and stripped him of the ball. Benardrick McKinney scooped up the fumble and returned it 26-yards setting up the offense for its first possession.

Strong first half

MSU had its best offensive production in the first half during Dan Mullen’s tenure. In fact, it was the best of the modern era for the Bulldogs.

State scored 45 points in the first half the most since scoring 49 points in the second half against Murray State on Nov. 2, 1949. The Bulldogs rolled up 349 yards in the first half including 283 during the second quarter alone.

25th straight sellout

Mississippi State announced that the Troy game was sold out with 55,096 fans in attendance, marking the 25th consecutive sellout at Davis Wade Stadium.

The streak dates back to Oct. 10, 2009 against Houston during Dan Mullen’s first season in Starkville. The Bulldogs have sold out 25 of Mullen’s 28 home games and have had over 50,000 fans at all those contests. MSU is 18-11 at home under Mullen.

Key drive

On Troy’s second drive of the game, the Trojans faced 3rd-and-goal from the 7-yard line and were attempting to tie the score. Linebacker Matthew Wells sacked and stripped Deon Anthony of the ball and it was recovered by Benardrick McKinney.

Key number

45 – Most points scored in the first half during Dan Mullen’s tenure.

Quotable

“(Dillon Day) was suspended for the first half for the personal foul on a play against Auburn. I didn’t think that represented what our football program was all about.” – Dan Mullen on why center Dillon Day did not play in the first half.

Next weekend

The Bulldogs will have an open date to prepare to host LSU on Oct. 5.

Bulldog bites

Dylan Holley earned his first career start at center… Dak Prescott and Jameon Lewis each had passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns… MSU’s 62 points were the most since scoring 66 against Tulane in 1994…The Bulldogs did not punt during the contest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.davis.52438174 Mike Davis

    I told other fans we had to punch them in the mouth first!Our defense played good.Mattie Wells,Love,B-Mac,C.Jones,and Q.Evans.Them young Dawgs like Jones,Evans,and both LB Browns playing good.And Market doing good things.Cox playing better.