The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Tide rolls over the Bulldogs, again

Landon Scheel | The Reflector

Fans have claimed Tulu Griffin should receive more touches. He tallied two catches for 15 yards against the Tide.

For the 14th straight time, the Alabama Crimson Tide got the best of the Mississippi State University Bulldogs when the two teams met on the gridiron this past weekend in Davis Wade Stadium. 

The last time MSU was able to best the Tide was in 2007 via a score of 17-12. This year, however, was quite a bit more disappointing for Bulldog fans.

The Tide steamrolled MSU by a whopping total of 49-9, handing the Bulldogs what is easily their biggest margin of loss on the season. Alabama played extremely well, but the Bulldogs did themselves no favors in the game. 

Sophomore quarterback Will Rogers came into this game with only two interceptions on the season. He walked off the field with a total of three in this game alone. 

On MSU’s first drive, the Bulldogs moved the ball well, all the way up until Rogers threw his first interception of the half, under throwing his receiver by a wide margin.  

At halftime, the score sat at 21-6. Fourteen of those points came after Rogers’ two first half interceptions. Head Coach Mike Leach attributed these passing woes to some on-field communication issues after the game. 

“It was horrible communication … that’s a nice way to put it,” Leach said. 

When asked in particular about Rogers’ play, Leach offered his insight as well.

“He tried extremely hard, to the point where he threw some balls out of character and forced things, you know (Rogers was) trying to make too much happen,” Leach said. 

The second half was even less comforting for Bulldog fans, as the Tide really opened up the scoring after half time, totaling 14 points in both the 3rd and 4th quarter. Several of these were simply due to the athleticism of the Alabama players, but some were also due to defensive miscues and the Alabama coaching staff picking up the third down blitzes Bulldog fans have grown so accustomed to under Zach Arnett’s defense. 

Those blitzes just were not enough in the end, though, as the Bulldog defense simply struggled to get off the field on third downs against the Tide in the second half. 

All of this ultimately culminated in a crushing defeat for the Bulldogs, leaving fans with more questions than answers going forward. 

Was Rogers playing through injury? Will Arnett still be the defensive coordinator next year? Will the offense work against the best of the best? At this point in the season, teams like to have more of those questions answered than MSU does. 

Either way, this game slid MSU to a 3-3 record, meaning a bowl bid is still very much possible. 

The Bulldogs will travel to Nashville this weekend to face the Vanderbilt Commodores, the only team in the SEC with less wins. 

After the game, redshirt junior linebacker Jett Johnson shared his thoughts on what this team can do going into Vanderbilt week. 

“We’re going to keep our heads down, keep pushing and play every game like it’s our last,” Johnson said. 

The betting lines for this week have MSU as a 23-point favorite on the road, according to Circa Sports on Twitter, so there are at least some experts that believe in the Bulldogs this week. 

About the Contributor
Tanner Marlar
Tanner Marlar, Former Managing Editor
Tanner Marlar served as the Managing Editor from 2022 to 2023. He also served as the Sports Editor from 2021 to 2022.
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Tide rolls over the Bulldogs, again