STARKVILLE – Other than Mississippi State moving one win closer to bowl eligibility, its game on Saturday night against Abilene Christian was pretty meaningless.
My biggest gripe about the game was the 6:30 p.m. kickoff so that the game should be shown on the SEC Network Alternate Channel. If any game on the Bulldogs’ schedule deserved an 11 a.m. start it was that one – and props to you if you knew what the channel number was without having to look it up.
I get that everybody gets one of these cupcake games on their schedule each year and usually teams use an FCS opponent to work on aspects of the game they might be struggling with and gain experience for young players. I’m not sure MSU took advantage of either of those opportunities on Saturday.
The Bulldogs really needed to get their vertical passing game going after only throwing for 82 yards last week against Alabama. State’s offense failed to score on its first two drives and Tommy Stevens finished the first quarter just 1 of 7 passing for one yard.
About the only thing the Bulldogs accomplished on Saturday night was getting several of its starters hurt. Linebacker Erroll Thompson, wide receiver Osirus Mitchell, defensive end Marquiss Spencer, offensive tackle Tyre Phillips and cornerback Jarrian Jones all left the game with injuries. Phillips, Spencer and Jones returned later but still.
Chilly temperatures, a crappy opponent and a late kickoff caused an awful turnout at the gate. Although a crowd of 54,638 was announced, most fans decided to sit this one out. There was a halfway decent amount of fraternity brothers and sorority sisters in the stands to cheer on the homecoming court but they hit the bricks soon after the halftime festivities ended, leaving Davis Wade Stadium looking like a ghost town for the second half.
The old saying “a win is a win” comes to mind but that’s really all that was accomplished on Saturday.