MSU running back Derrick Milton (28) gets wrapped up by the Texas A&M defense. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Mississippi State Bulldogs were not able to produce on either side of the football on Saturday and ultimately the game went the way of Texas A&M.
Comparing the two sides, it was clear that it was as MSU coach Dan Mullen stated â€śas bad a performance offensively as weâ€™ve had here in quite a long time.â€ť
The Bulldogs tried to use a balanced attack on offense, but were unsuccessful in their efforts mustering up only 98 yards on the ground at dayâ€™s end.
The first half saw Russell throwing for only 29 yards. The rest of the offense was just as stagnate picking up only 87 total yards in the first half.
On paper, it appeared that the wide receiverâ€™s had a decent game, but upon closer examination, the statistics were due to a somewhat playing catch up and having more opportunities.
Chad Bumphis was part of that second half productivity. During the third quarter, Russell hit Bumphis with a 14-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldog fans a glimmer of hope. Though it was exciting, Bumphis' catch came a little too late as the Aggies were already up 31-0 at that point.
MSU fans did have one more chance to ring their cowbells as Russell found the end zone on a 4-yard run. The Bulldogs attempted a two-point conversion, but like most everything else offensively they were stopped short.
To summarize MSU's day, one has to look at LaDarius Perkinsâ€™ statistics. MSUâ€™s premier running back was held to only 13 rushes and 46 yards.
â€śWe came out OK,â€ť Perkins said. â€śWe werenâ€™t like we should have been. We all knew it was a big game, but it all comes down to execution and we just didnâ€™t execute like we needed to.â€ť
Mullen echoed Perkinsâ€™ comments on execution and how MSU has â€śgot to come out and execute right from the beginning;â€ť especially when looking at the fact that this was the second week in a row for the Bulldogs to enter halftime down 24-0.
There were a few bright spots in Saturdayâ€™s Bulldog performance. With the two touchdowns scored, it made 47 games in which Mullen and his team have not been shut out.
Additionally, Bumphis brought his career touchdown record to 19, while Russell tied Derrick Tate for the single season touchdown record at 16.
The Bulldogs have a great deal of work to do this week in practice.
On Saturday, MSU travels to Death Valley to face the LSU in what is sure to be a challenge for the Bulldogs offense. The Tigers sport one of the premier defenses in the nation.
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