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Mississippi State hangs on, but faces steep road to postseason

Dak Prescott, Eric Dixon AP

It was not the prettiest of games, but Mississippi State found a way to hold on for a win against Kentucky Thursday night. A fourth down pass by Kentucky fell incomplete in the final minute of the game, allowing Mississippi State to take over on downs and head in to the victory formation with a 28-22 lead.

Dak Prescott passed for 68 yards and two touchdowns for Mississippi State and he ended up being one of 11 different Mississippi State players to catch a pass in the game.Prescott’s 17-yard catch actually turned out to be the game-winning catch as he scored a touchdown on a pass from junior receiver Jameon Lewis. The touchdown catch and run by Prescott gave Mississippi State a 28-19 lead late in the third quarter. It was the quarterback’s second touchdown catch of the season.

Mississippi State needs to win two more games to become eligible for postseason play for the fourth straight season. Yeah, about that…

Three out of the next four games for Mississippi State will be played on the road. First is a game at South Carolina. Second is a trip to play Texas A&M. After that they return home, but they play host to Alabama. The odds would seem to be stacked against the Bulldogs in each of the next three games, which would theoretically pit Mississippi State with their backs against the wall in their final two games. If Mississippi State can pick up a win against Arkansas, and depending on which Razorback team shows up that is not at all impossible, that would mean Mississippi State would have to defeat their rival, Ole Miss, in a game with even more riding than the Golden Egg. Mississippi State has won three of the last four Egg Bowls, but Ole Miss is looking pretty decent this season.

Even with the win, the future of Dan Mullen continues to be an interesting storyline for the program the rest of the year. Odds are the pressure may be on for Mullen and a season without a bowl trip should only turn up the heat even more. How much the financial impact comes in to play could be enough alone to assure Mullen returns in 2014. To fire Mullen at the end of this season could cost Mississippi State approximately $6 million. Bottom line is it is not likely Mullen’s job is cut short for a number of reasons. First, it makes little financial sense to let go of him before the contract expires (in 2016). Second, even if Mississippi State finishes with a 5-7 record this season, Mullen will have a winning record over a five-year period, which is no easy task for the program. Third, no matter what happens this season he will have a winning record against Ole Miss, although two straight losses to Ole Miss at a time when the Rebels are looking to build some momentum certainly will not go over well with some. But let’s not worry about that right now.

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5 Responses to “Mississippi State hangs on, but faces steep road to postseason”
  1. manik56 says: Oct 25, 2013 12:44 AM

    With Tom Herman due for a HC gig, Mullen will land comfortably in Columbus.

  2. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Oct 25, 2013 4:41 AM

    Uh, Dan Mullen will not be fired. Do you have any idea what kind of shape the Mississippi State program was in before Mullen? 3 straight years of a bowl game under Mullen and there is some young talent, including Prescott, on the team. Talking about Mullen being fired is ridicoulous.

  3. goal141 says: Oct 25, 2013 9:35 AM

    Mississippi state without a bowl game this season will hire Mark Hudspeth from Louisiana Lafayette

  4. halbert53 says: Oct 25, 2013 12:02 PM

    MSU is a tough sell for recruits. Doesn’t have the winning traditions of an Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and pretty much has 3-4 guaranteed losses in the SEC west. The quality of the team is much better than the won-loss record. Mullen can only do so much at a school that doesn’t have a long history of FB success or an exotic location. Building MSU to a perennial top 20 program would take a lifetime commitment much like Beamer. Hard to imagine a good coach or the university having that kind of patience in today’s win now world.

  5. bgkytiger says: Oct 25, 2013 7:02 PM

    Boy that game was ugly…props to MSU for giving their mascot water treadmill, pretty sweet. It appears he had more discipline than either team out there. Oh, and the James Caan cowbell thing on the videotron was funny too…eight years ago

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