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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-The Mississippi State Bulldogs have been searching all season for a consistent tone to their play. Saturday they found it by being consistently inept in all facets, losing 44-10 to the Arkansas Razorbacks in Little Rock.
    “I was amazed,” MSU head coach Sylvester Croom told reporters after the game. “With all that we’ve been through over two years, I thought the one thing we had established was that we were going to compete, and we weren’t going to quit. Basically we took a huge step backward in 30 minutes.”
    Croom is referring to the first half of the game, where the Bulldogs managed only two first downs, two completed passes and 44 yards of total offense.
    “It was very surprising. I never expected us to get down early like that,” Croom said. “I know most people didn’t give us much of a chance (at winning), but I guess I though we could. I thought our players thought we could. Obviously I didn’t convince them well enough that we could.”
    Freshman quarterback Mike Henig performed tentatively again in his second start for the maligned Maroon offense, completing 11 passes for 77 yards and one interception. With limited protection, he did not complete a pass until Omarr Conner’s two-yard reception in the middle of the second quarter.
    “Mike made some mistakes, but he and Omarr were also the only people making plays,” Croom said. “He did some good things, and I anticipate him making some mistakes, but sometimes he just didn’t have the time we anticipated him having.”
    Arkansas raced out to a quick lead, marching the ball up the field on the first drive of the game for a touchdown. Freshman running back Darren McFadden scored the touchdown, the first of two for McFadden in the contest. He rushed for 165 yards, becoming the first Arkansas freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
    His counterpart on the Bulldogs’ squad, all-SEC running back Jerious Norwood, almost matched McFadden, rushing for 91 yards. His total pushed him over the 3,000 career yards mark, making him the 11th back in SEC history to tally such a total.
    The Bulldogs scored their first points just before halftime on an Adam Carlson kick set up by a long run by Norwood.
    “Jerious is an outstanding back-one of the best backs in the conference,” Croom said. “He has done a good job for us for two years as far as leadership and work ethic.”
    After the game, a visibly distraught Croom expressed his general frustration with the game and the season.
    “It’s very frustrating. One thing I thought we had established was the degree of character of our football team; we come in, we compete, we play physical, and we never quit,” he said.
    The loss leaves the Bulldogs at 2-8 on the year and still searching for their first SEC win. They host Ole Miss on Saturday in the season-ending Egg Bowl. Neither team is bowl eligible.

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