Well, we got to be in the playoff discussion for one week. While #1 Alabama went on the road and shut out #13 LSU in one of the toughest environments in college football, every other team ranked in the top 7 scored over 50 points while absolutely obliterating conference opposition. Except for us. No, we went ahead and decided early that we weren’t going to join in on the playoffs this year by losing to the last-place team in the division.
There are plenty of adjectives that come to mind when trying to describe how the team looked Saturday morning: flat, lethargic, muddled, ill-prepared, etc. The easiest to use is the simplest: this team just looked plain bad all around. The worst they’ve looked this season. Some numbers to think about:
574 to 382: total yardage advantage: Mississippi State. Awful.
29 to 14: total first downs advantage: Mississippi State. Wow. Doubled.
365 to 117: rushing yards advantage: Mississippi State. Holy shit. That’s more yardage on the ground than we gave up to Arkansas and Auburn combined.
2 to 0: sack advantage: Mississippi State. No pressure. No disruption.
Not good. Not even mediocre. Just owned all over the field.
Who was making tackles (when they were made)? The four leading tacklers were: Watts, Evans, Harvey, Capers-Smith. Safety, safety, corner, corner. The safeties are understandable, both are outstanding tacklers and extremely talented football players. But to have both corners get more tackles than any linebacker when the opposing team rushed on 2⁄3 of their plays is bad. Awful. In fact, Alaka and Washington had ONE solo tackle all day between them. The linebackers were a non-factor at best.
Who was missing tackles? Everyone. Don’t have a source on this, but I watched the game. Science.
How was the distribution on offense? What distribution? Only four Aggies had a pass reception, and one of those was Trayveon Williams on a zero-yard catch. As far as running the ball, Trevor Knight was the leading rusher. After leaving the game in the second quarter. Yep, no one surpassed him after that. Ford had 9 carries for 33 yards. Williams had 10 carries for 28 yards. Hubenak had 7 carries for 2 yards. Once the keep threat was gone, there was no read option.
What about special teams? Well, we mishandled three kickoff returns and missed a 27 yard field goal. Got away with a block in the back on the punt return TD. Call it a wash.
How long should I wallow in misery over this pathetic showing? Up to you. I suggest finding something else to distract you for a day or two before trying to make sense of the rest of the season. We can still win ten games, but not if we play anywhere close to yesterday’s level.
Two things that kept this from being a blowout: Christian Kirk and the pair of great interceptions made in the end zone by Harvey and Wilson.
We’d better get shit together for Ole Miss, because looking ahead has already cost us.