Nick Fitzgerald threw 2 late fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Mississippi State to a hard-fought and often ugly 28-21 victory against Arkansas on Saturday in Fayetteville.
Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 in the SEC) was coming off a 31-24 loss to Alabama and looked like it still was thinking about that near-miss when the game started. The Razorbacks led 14-0 in the first quarter and 21-14 in the final frame before Fitzgerald led the Bulldogs to the win.
“I don’t think so,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said when asked if his team was thinking about Alabama at kickoff. “We had great week of preparation. It’s late in the season and you come out to a tough environment on a windy and cold day. The ball didn’t bounce our way all game long. When we evaluate the film, every coach and player can say this can be better. I thought our guys were ready to go, they had a great attitude all week. We’re playing a tough team on the road in November in the SEC. It’s tough to win that way.”
Despite the close win against struggling Arkansas (4-7), the Bulldogs held onto their No. 4 spot in the SEC Country Power Poll this week. The top of the poll is SEC West-heavy with Alabama at No. 1, followed by Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State and LSU.
The win was Mullen’s 69th at Mississippi State and leaves him 6 wins shy of tying Jackie Sherrill for most wins in MSU history.
Fitzgerald completed 12 of 23 passes for 153 yards and the 2 TD tosses — 37 yards to Reggie Todd to tie the game and 6 yards to Deddrick Thomas with 17 seconds to win it. Fitzgerald also ran for 101 yards and 22 carries with an 18-yard TD run.
Mississippi State ends its regular season on Thanksgiving, hosting a Thursday night game (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) against rival Ole Miss in the annual Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs won the 2016 meeting, 55-20, in Oxford and have won six of the last 10 in the long-running series.
Check back here every Sunday for the latest installment of the SEC Country Power Poll.
Your Week 12 Power Poll rankings
Results are below:
|1||Alabama (11 – 0)||312||24||1||1||1|
|2||Auburn (9 – 2)||287||0||2||2||3|
|3||Georgia (10 – 1)||265||0||3||2||3|
|4||Mississippi State (8 – 3)||235||0||4||4||5|
|5||LSU (8 – 3)||220||0||5||4||6|
|6||South Carolina (8 – 3)||180||0||6||5||10|
|7||Texas A&M (7 – 4)||154||0||7||6||13|
|8||Missouri (6 – 5)||138||0||9||6||10|
|9||Kentucky (7 – 4)||132||0||8||6||11|
|10||Florida (4 – 6)||87||0||11||8||13|
|11||Ole Miss (5 – 6)||83||0||10||9||12|
|12||Arkansas (4 – 7)||53||0||12||7||14|
|13||Tennessee (4 – 7)||30||0||14||10||14|
|14||Vanderbilt (4 – 7)||8||0||13||13||14|
This week’s voters:
Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Lauren Shute (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Seth Emerson (DawgNation)
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)
The post 2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where Mississippi State is ranked (Week 12) appeared first on SEC Country.