The Mississippi State Bulldogs’ (3-3, 0-2) bowl hopes are still alive, but barely. After the Bulldogs failed to convert on fourth-and-one at the Bowling Green six-yard line with 4:21 left in the game, the defense clamped down and prevented the Falcons from moving inside field goal range to secure a narrow 21-20 victory.
The two-quarterback system worked fairly well for the Bulldogs, as Dan Mullen again played Dak Prescott and Tyler Russell. Prescott racked up 139 rushing yards and two TDs, adding 75 yards through the air on 7-of-11 passing. Russell completed 12-of-14 passes for 102 yards.
But the Mississippi State offense was ultimately unremarkable. Though the Bulldogs did manage to gain more than 420 yards, racking up 275 on the ground, they didn’t convert many third downs (4-of-11) or score very often. In fact, Mississippi State was scoreless the entire second half.
One bright spot, other than Prescott, is senior running back LaDarius Perkins returning to form. He had 104 all-purpose yards against Bowling Green. Perkins was plagued by a nagging ankle injury to start the season and managed to gain just 109 rushing yards in his first four games after rushing for more than 1,000 yards last year.
What to look for in Week 8: The fourth win of the season, as MSU hosts Kentucky. Nothing is a sure thing for this Bulldogs team, but they should beat the Wildcats to pull within two games of bowl eligibility. From there, State only figures to be favored against Arkansas, as the other teams remaining on the schedule are No. 11 South Carolina, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 1 Alabama and rival Ole Miss. Becoming bowl eligible is definitely going to be an uphill battle for the Bulldogs.