5 Biggest Takeaways: Miss. State
Mississippi State went on the road on Saturday, earning a hard-fought win over SEC East foe Kentucky. Here are something things we were able to glean from the Bulldogs’ 45-31 win over the Wildcats.
- Josh Robinson is legit. The junior running back is amongst the biggest surprises in college football this season, and he’s proven over the last few games that he’s the real deal. Through seven games, Robinson has already topped his rushing total from his first two seasons in Starkville, and we went over 1,000 yards from scrimmage on the season. Robinson, whose figure can be described as bowling ball-esque, careened off Kentucky defenders all afternoon en route to 198 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Dak Prescott still has room to improve as a passer. Once again, Prescott put up more than 300 total yards and accounted for 3 touchdowns, ho-hum numbers for the Heisman contender at this point. Prescott was only 18-for-33 passing, with a touchdown and an interception, making it two straight games with mediocre throwing performances. Prescott simply missed some throws, although the interception wasn’t necessarily his fault as he was hit while releasing.
- The pass defense is still an issue. Mississippi State had one of its worst days of the year trying to contain a passing attack. Patrick Towles threw for more than 400 yards, and two of Kentucky’s touchdowns came on passes of 50 or more yards. The Bulldogs’ defensive weakness is obvious, and teams are going to attack it more and more going forward. While that vulnerability has been exposed before, having it ripped wide open in their first game as the nation’s top-ranked team provides a blueprint for beating the Bulldogs.
- The Bulldogs are capable of winning on the road. MSU might have surprised LSU by punching them in the mouth early last month, but Kentucky was prepared to bring their best fight on Saturday. With their final two road games coming against Alabama and Ole Miss, the Bulldogs will be in for even more hostile environments in the final stretch of the season. Mississippi State has shown that they’re able to shake off any road deficiencies, good news for a team that’s never been in this position before.
- Mississippi State is clutch. From Robinson’s game-breaking 73-yard touchdown run to an onside kick returned for a touchdown, Mississippi State showed that they’re not going to crumble in big moments.