September 23, 2017
Mississippi State MS 3-1 , 1-1
Georgia UGA 4-0 , 1-0
|MS Mississippi State||0||3||0||0||3|
Game Recap: Football |
ATHENS, Ga. – No. 17 Mississippi State (3-1, 1-1 SEC) suffered its first setback of the 2017 campaign Saturday night as the Bulldogs form Starkville ran into No. 11 Georgia (4-0, 1-0 SEC), the Bulldogs from Athens posting a 31-3 victory at UGA’s Sanford Stadium.
Georgia established the tone for the night very early, forcing State to a three-and-out possession on the first drive of the game. On UGA’s very first play from scrimmage, the homestanding Bulldogs connected on a 59-yard flea flicker pass for a 7-0 lead just 2:23 into the game. After forcing an MSU punt on the next drive, Georgia drove 78 yards on eight plays for another score, Nick Chubb running in from seven yards out.
The teams played even from that point until late in the first half, when State got on the board with a Jace Christmann 26-yard field goal, Christmann improving to 4-for-4 on field goals this season.
Unfortunately for Mississippi State, the second half was much the same as it was unable to mount any offensive momentum against Georgia’s stilfing defense. UGA would outscore State 17-0 in the half to go on to the victory.
UGA amassed 404 yards of total offense while limiting MSU to 280. MSU star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was held to just 83 yards passing, 47 on the ground, and was intercepted twice by the dominant Georgia defensive unit.
State will stay on the road next week, travelling to Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Sept. 30, to meet No. 15 Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC) in a 5 p.m. CT SEC Western Division battle on ESPN. The Tigers cruised past Missouri 51-14 on the road Saturday night in AU’s 2017 SEC opener.
Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen
On his impression of the Georgia team…
“They’ve got a ridiculous amount of talent, that’s evident.”
On the caliber of the Southeastern Conference…
“The great thing about the Southeastern Conference is you usually end up playing a better team the next week. It’s not always about the one game in this league. It’s multiple games. Can you get through? They said we had one of the toughest schedules in the country to start out the season, and on the road against a top-10 team this week, and on the road against a top-10 again next week. Kind of funny to hear about how down the SEC is. Everybody talks about how down the SEC is, well
we’re playing our third straight top-15 team, all conference games. I don’t know how down the league is, not in our schedule.”
On the overall Mississippi State performance…
“Two interceptions hurt us, those are drive killers. You know what you need to do, you come on the road against a great team, and you got to win, and you lose the turnover battle, you don’t tackle extremely well, the first half they won the kicking game, with the punt yardage early in the game. It’s all the little things that you need to to win on the road that we didn’t really do today.”
On taking advantage of opportunities…
“We know they have excellent running backs, and they’re all top running backs. So we know they have excellent backs coming in, and I don’t think we capitalized as well as we have been the past couple weeks. Just little things like that we’ll get fixed up and coached up from our guys and refocus.”
On the team’s response to the first touchdown…
“We had poor communication in the back, and we didn’t get in the right coverage.”