SuperTalk Mississippi

MSU Rolls, Rebels and Golden Eagles Stumble – CFB Week 9 Recap

M.M. Roberts Stadium at Southern Miss. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

Mississippi State: 35 Texas A&M: 14

A week after blowing out the Kentucky Wildcats, the Mississippi State Bulldogs picked up a big 35-14 win over the Texas A&M Aggies. Similar to last week, it was all Nick Fitzgerald for the Bulldogs offense. Despite throwing an interception on the team’s first drive, Fitzgerald would play exceptionally well after that. While throwing for two touchdowns, the QB also led the team in rushing with 105 yards. While the MSU offense was rolling, the defense showed up and clamped down on the Aggie offense. The Bulldogs forced five Aggie punts and an interception in the first half while they built a 14-0 lead. Another Bulldog touchdown early in the second half gave them a comfortable 21-0 lead in the third quarter. While the Aggies would score two touchdowns in the remainder of the game, the result was never in question. Neither squad was particularly explosive on offense, but the Bulldogs were able to finish drives, and on defense, they took the ball away; winning the turnover battle by a 3:1 ratio. The Bulldogs are officially bowl eligible after picking up their 6th win of the season.

Next week: The Bulldogs (6-2) step out of conference play to face UMASS at home.

Ole Miss: 37 Arkansas: 38

Ole Miss lost starting QB Shea Patterson for the year, and JUCO transfer Jordan Ta’amu made his first career start. Early in the second quarter, it appeared that the Rebels were on their way to a win, holding 31-7 lead over the Arkansas Razorbacks, but there was still a lot of football left to be played. The Razorbacks would get a FG and then a touchdown off of a Ta’amu interception before the half, and scored 21 total points to cut the Rebel lead to just three as the fourth quarter began. The Rebels would bring a 37-28 lead into the final four minutes of the game, and following a momentum-swinging interception by the Rebel defense, the offense would give it right back. A bad exchange between Ta’amu and RB Eric Sweeney caused a fumble that would be returned for a TD by Arkansas. A Rebel punt on the following drive gave the Razorbacks the ball, and they wouldn’t squander the chance to drive down and win the game. A Connor Limpert 34-yard FG with seconds remaining gave the Razorbacks their first SEC win of the season and their fourth straight win over Ole Miss.

Next week: Ole Miss (3-5) travels to Lexington to take on Kentucky

Southern Miss: 12 UAB: 30

Southern Miss’ three-game winning streak has come to an end. The Golden Eagles and UAB battled until the fourth quarter began, but the Blazers began to pull away on their way to 30-12 win. The Golden Eagles opened the game with a bang as QB Keon Howard found RB Ito Smith for an 84-yard touchdown (followed by a missed PAT), but the Blazers answered on the ensuing drive. Two Southern Miss field goals would finish out the first half. USM wouldn’t score in the second half, and the UAB offense eventually found their footing. Their first two scoring drives of the second half both went for 75 yards or more. As the game went on, UAB was able to run the ball effectively, sustain drives and control the clock on their way to a win. USM finished the game with just 14 first downs. Ito Smith had ripped off four straight 100+ yard games this season but has now combined for just 84 yards on the ground in his last two games. In the second half of this matchup, the Golden Eagles had five drives that ended with four plays or less.

Next week: USM (5-3) will travel to Knoxville for a matchup with Tennessee.



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