A look at the scoreboard might make you think Mississippi State dominated Abilene Christian from start to finish, but a closer look shows the Bulldogs overcame a shaky start and some sloppy execution on offense en route to a 45-7 over the FCS Wildcats. State used a strong night on the ground to get past a tough night in the air for Tommy Stevens, the Bulldogs rushed for 372 yards and 9.3 yards per carry, led by Kylin Hill’s 153 yards. Stevens was only 13-27 passing, but did add 88 yards and a score on the ground. The Bulldogs held Abilene to 27 yards on the ground and forced two turnovers, allowing only a late second quarter score to blemish the day. State moves to 5-6 on the season, and will take on Ole Miss Thanksgiving night with a bowl bid on the line as well as the Golden Egg trophy.
Kylin Hill has been a true weapon on the ground this season,
but on this play, the Bulldog junior star finally showed what he can do in the passing game. The play was an interesting design, almost a fake jump pass, one that MSU quarterback Tommy Stevens said had been in the gameplan over the past few weeks without seeing an opportunity to run it. State needs Hill to be this kind of weapon one more time this season if the Bulldogs want to extend their school record bowl streak to 10 years.
Some new names on the suspended list tonight. pic.twitter.com/O9NWaFYjsO
— Brian Hadad (@brianhadad) November 23, 2019
Mississippi State’s suspended list was larger than ever on Saturday night, but on Thursday, there should be no further issues with the Bulldog roster. That means Willie Gay, Lee Autry, and Marcus Murphy will all be on the field, and they’ll be needed to contain the Ole Miss rushing attack, led by quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. State’s defense has been solid in the three games the suspended players were available, and if they can deliver one more time, the Bulldogs will go bowling.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss will battle for the 116th time on Thanksgiving day, and for the Bulldogs, it’s simple. A win and State will go to a bowl game for the 10th straight year, a loss and the future of Joe Moorhead in Starkville becomes very cloudy. State enters the game a 1.5 favorite over the Rebels, with the ESPN FPI having the Bulldogs at a 65% chance of victory. It should be a back and forth game, and as always, the emotions will be high. We’ll have plenty of coverage all week on SportsTalk Mississippi.
Photos courtesy of Mississippi State athletics
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