STARKVILLE, Miss. – A great first quarter start led Mississippi State (4-5, 2-3 SEC) to a big upset of fourth-ranked Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
The win was State’s highest ranked win since downing No. 2 Auburn in Starkville in 2014.
MSU’s first play from scrimmage set the tone for the day, as quarterback Nick Fitzgerald scampered 74 yards for a touchdown just minutes into the game. The Bulldogs went up 14-0 when running back Aeris Williams tumbled in from two yards out. The Bulldogs outscored A&M 14-7 in the second quarter for a 28-14 halftime lead.Fitzgerald found Fred Ross on two TD passes in the quarter and A&M got a 93-yard punt return for a score just before the intermission.
After a scoreless third period, the Aggies would cut the lead to 28-21 early in the fourth but the Bulldogs would answer back with an impressive 14-play, 73-yard drive that ended with Fitzgerald rushing in from four yards out with just 3:08 remaining in regulation. A&M would strike quickly for another score but it wouldn’t be enough.
Fitzgerald had another huge day under center, both passing and rushing. He completed 18-of-31 passes for 209 yards and two TD. He also rushed for 182 yards and two scores. Williams added a career-high 140 yards with his one score. Ross led State’s receivers with six catches for 98 yards and 2 TDs.
Defensively, Richie Brown led the Bulldogs with eight tackles, five solos, and a tackle for loss. Mark McLaurin had a sack, a pass breakup, and the interception that sealed the win for the Bulldogs. Johnathan Calvin had a sack and a forced fumble.
State continues action in the SEC West next Saturday, Nov. 12, travelling to take on top-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The game will kickoff at 11 a.m. and be televised by ESPN.