Mississippi State can’t capitalize on chances

Mississippi State controlled most of the first half against

Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs just couldn’t convert their

opportunities into points and that cost them any chance of pulling

off the upset of the 13th ranked team.

J.W. Walsh threw for 135 yards and ran for another 125 and a

touchdown to lead the Cowboys to a 21-3 win over the Bulldogs in

the Texas Kickoff Saturday.

Devon Bell kicked a 40-yard field goal 8:38 into the game, but

the Bulldogs converted just two of their 16 third-down

opportunities and watched their chances slip away.

”We made a lot of first-game mistakes that come in games like

this in this time of the season,” said Bulldogs head coach Dan

Mullen. ”We had some opportunities in the first half to put more

points on the board and to score some more points.

”Offensively, we have a lot of adjustments to make. We have

some things we need to clean up before next week. The turnovers

were definitely momentum changers.”

LaDarius Perkins rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and caught

three passes for 52 yards for the Bulldogs (0-1), which had only

333 yards of offense and had trouble keeping drives going.

Tyler Russell was 10 of 16 for 133 yards before being helped off

the field and taken to the locker room in the third quarter after

being brought down on a scramble. Dak Prescott replaced Russell,

throwing for 89 yards on seven of 17 passing.

”Overall, he is going to be OK,” said Mullen, who would not

specify any injury to Russell. ”Anytime you have a head or neck

injury, you’re going to take every precaution, and I know he is

going to get it looked at again.”

Walsh finished 18 of 27 after relieving starter Clint Chelf on

the Cowboys’ third series. Jeremy Smith rushed for 102 yards and

two touchdowns on 15 carries for Oklahoma State (1-0), which piled

up 432 yards on offense after struggling for most of the first

half.

Oklahoma State’s defense also had three sacks and intercepted

two Mississippi State passes. Oklahoma State’s offense gained only

67 yards with less than four minutes remaining in the first half

before Walsh got going.

Walsh worked the quarterback keeper three times for gains of 46

yards down the left sideline, 12 yards down the left sideline to

the MSU 3 and capping it off with a 3-yard touchdown run to give

the Cowboys a 7-3 lead with 2:16 left in the half.

OSU continued the offensive momentum in the second half, driving

75 yards in 11 plays to take a 14-3 lead on a Smith 1-yard run with

10:41 left in the third.

Smith tacked on a 20-yard touchdown run to begin the fourth

quarter to up the lead to 21-3.

”We were 2-for-16 on third downs, and that’s terrible,” Mullen

said. ”And those were momentum killers early on. We missed some

short ones early on, and even though we controlled the tempo for

the most part, we just could not get anything going.”

The Bulldogs looked to respond before the half as Jameon Lewis

weaved the kickoff return 66 yards to the OSU 34, but a holding

penalty and a sack by Tyler Johnson stopped the drive.

Mississippi State marched down the field in 57 yards on 13 plays

taking over six minutes off the clock, but the Bulldogs were only

able to get Bell’s field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Russell was 5 of

7 on the drive for 58 yards.

”Defense did their job, but as an offense, we need to do

better,” Lewis said. ”I put that on us, and I am pretty sure

everyone else is going to put that on themselves, too.

”The game started pretty well, but then we fell off. We’re

going to learn from this. I think we are going to sit back, watch

some film and learn from our mistakes. We’ll get better.”