Mississippi State’s game against a 2-6 Arkansas team on Saturday is an absolute must-win situation.
It felt strange for me to even type that out, but that’s exactly where the Bulldogs are in their second season under Joe Moorhead. MSU has to beat the Razorbacks to not only keep its bowl hopes alive, but to also avoid having to make another coaching change for the second time in three years.
The Bulldogs’ season has been spiraling for quite some time. State has lost its last four games – all by double digits – marking the worst skid the program has suffered since dropping seven straight in Sylvester Croom’s second season in 2005.
But there is still hope left for Moorhead and the three-win Bulldogs. Mississippi State is favored in three of its final four games against Arkansas, Abilene Christian and Ole Miss, which would bring their record to 6-6 and send the Bulldogs to a bowl for the 10th-consecutive year.
Another aspect that makes the Arkansas game vital is that the Razorbacks are the worst team in the Southeastern Conference and have been for the last two years. The downtrodden Hogs haven’t won an SEC game (0-13) during Chad Morris’ tenure and have only won four total games over that span.
A loss in Fayetteville on Saturday would plunge the Bulldogs to the deepest depths of the league cellar, which is a place many State fans are far too familiar with and understand how hard it is to ascend from.
There are a myriad of reasons MSU finds itself in this situation. The main ones are due to the eight-game suspensions for 10 players and the rash of injuries the Bulldogs have sustained at nearly every position group.
No matter if the excuses are legitimate or not, fans still expect results and thus far they haven’t gotten them and will have their torches and pitch forks at the ready if there isn’t a victory this weekend.