CATEGORY: FOC College Football
State put out with output
By Parrish Alford
ATHENS, Ga. Mississippi State players blasted their own preparation and effort Saturday.
That was as close as they could come to explaining their total domination in a 47-0 loss to No. 18 Georgia.
"They just beat us. We didn't do the things we were supposed to do," MSU offensive tackle Robert Hicks said. "We gave a lackadaisical effort, and the score proved it."
Georgia moved at will offensively, rushing for 217 yards and passing for 278, establishing control of the line from the outset.
"We did not win this game," Georgia linebacker Greg Bright said, "and the secondary didn't win this game. This game was won on the line."
Line play was a strength for MSU in its first four games, with the Bulldogs getting 164.5 rushing yards per game.
But movement along Georgia's defensive front apparently confused State's offensive linemen.
"They were doing a lot of slants up front, and before you knew it their guys were getting loose from blocks," MSU guard Randy Thomas said. "Nothing we did worked."
By contrast Georgia had the Midas Touch offensively. Tailback Robert Edwards, showing no effects of his injured ankle and playing his first full game, averaged 7.3 yards per rush and scored three touchdowns. Edwards was especially effective on the toss sweep.
"Nobody had tried to run outside on them except LSU, and they did it quite well," Georgia coach Jim Donnan said.
State's own rushing game, which had been a concern of Donnan's, produced 55 yards on 30 carries. Tailback James Johnson, the SEC's fifth-leading rusher with 84 yards a game, had 46 yards on 15 carries. Robert Isaac, just behind Johnson with a 71.8-yard per game average, had 15 yards on six carries.
"Going into the game I was concerned about the size on their offensive line," Donnan said. "I thought our movement might help us some, and it did."
MSU players described themselves as unprepared, but none could say why they weren't ready to play the 18th-ranked team on the road.
"I don't know why," Hicks said. "But it's embarrassing to walk out of here right now, especially when you're a better team than what you put out."