How bad was it? Well, everyone had a bad night. How bad? Stop reading when you can no longer bear it.
-1: Turnover margin. Back to the old tricks. Throwing interceptions in the end zone as casually as you like.
1: Touchdown. If you’re going to go on the road in the SEC West and expect to win while only scoring one touchdown, your defense better be up to the task all across the board. Ours was not.
9/8/7: Alaka/Dodson/Johnson. The three leading tacklers were all linebackers. That’s good!
1/1: Kellen Mond had as many tackles as Donovan Wilson. That’s bad!
38.8: Yards per punt. Mann was kicking at a full FIFTEEN YARDS below his record-setting pace season average.
61: Yards rushing.
2.8: Yards per rush.
5.0: Yards per pass.
4: The number of Aggie players who dropped passes.
2 catches-13 yards: Sternberger’s production.
0: Aggies with more than 60 yards receiving.
0.2: Kellen Mond yards per carry.
There was no one on the offense who could step up and carry the team when production needed. The total offense for the night was 293. Mississippi State allowed 310 to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in September.
What about the defense?
7-of-12: Mississippi State third down conversions. Here they are, all seven of these beauties:
- 3rd and 6: 22-yard pass completion
- 3rd and 8: 10-yard pass completion
- 3rd and 6: 14-yard run
- 3rd and 12: 25-yard pass TD
Those were all on State’s first drive of the game. There were more.
- 3rd and 13: Facemask penalty on the A&M defense. Oops.
- 3rd and 11: 38 yard passing TD
- 3rd and 21, at their own 14, leading by a point, and all the momentum swinging the Aggies’ way: 84-yard pass completion, which led to
- 3rd and goal from the 1: 1-yard QB run, touchdown
That is quite an array of anxiety-inducing failures on third down. The Third-And-Fitzgerald Era is mercifully over in this chapter of A&M Football history.
241: Passing yards allowed to Nick Fitzgerald. He had only broken the 100-yard barrier ONCE in four SEC Games, and that was for 100 yards less than what we allowed. One of our most fragile hopes coming into this season was that we would stop the age-old Aggie tendency of making struggling quarterbacks look like Heisman candidates that stretches back several coaches. Well, you know how hard it is to stop an Aggie Tradition.
At least next week we’ll get it over with early: Texas A&M at Auburn, 11 a.m. on ESPN.