The Bulldogs turned the Ragin’ Cajuns over five times, including interceptions on their first and last plays of the game.
MSU’s offense was much more balanced than a year ago with 261 rushing yards and 236 passing yards.
The Bulldogs’ special teams units were much better in the second half after being challenged by Joe Moorhead at halftime.
Walk-on Evans Wilkerson played well at center after Darryl Williams went down with an injury.
Seven players were suspended for the game affecting depth at nearly every position group across the board.
State’s defense missed a lot of tackles and surrendered 431 yards and four touchdowns.
Keys to Victory
(Reviewing the scouting report from our GameDay edition)
The Bulldogs sure could’ve used some of those suspended players on Saturday, especially after two offensive linemen left the game with injuries in the first half.
Mississippi State had a walk-through inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Friday to get acclimated to playing indoors.
There appeared to be as many – if not more – Bulldog fans in attendance than Ragin’ Cajuns so that helped it seem more like a neutral site venue.
Quarterback Tommy Stevens completed 66.7 percent of his passes and accounted for three touchdowns in his MSU debut. Stevens threw some great passes and made some smart decisions. His only mistake was coughing up the ball after being blindsided on a corner blitz.
RB Kylin Hill only found the end zone once but his 197 yards on a workmanlike 27 carries set up numerous touchdown drives for the Bulldogs.
Despite all those touches, Hill was never brought down behind the line of scrimmage.
It wasn’t pretty but an ugly win is still a win.