November 22, 2010

Bulldogs moving on

Sometimes losing a nail-biter in the waning moments can be even more painful than being blown out.

Mississippi State battled toe-to-toe with Arkansas through four quarters but it took two overtimes before the Razorbacks eventually prevailed in a 38-31 decision.

"In looking at that game, I'm proud of the way our guys battled for the entire game," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "There are little things we need to get fixed up as coaches and cleaned up as a team that when you're playing one of the top teams in the country that you can't make those mistakes. You've got to make every play and not most of the plays."

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 7-4 on the year and 3-4 inside conference play. All four of their losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top 12.

"Their best playmakers make the big plays in key moments of the game," Mullen said. "We are still developing that. A lot of our playmakers right now are young guys. These guys are in position to be playmakers. They are still learning those things. As I view it, an overtime loss at home and a three-point loss to the team I vote number one in the country, we are not far off in that. For us to continue to build and our young players to develop they have to see that they have to make 25 plays a game. They have to make the one play at the key moment in the game and where our young players need to take that next step to right at the top of the SEC instead of in the middle."

Two key fumbles proved to be the decisive plays in the loss for MSU. Junior quarterback Chris Relf coughed up the pigskin on the 11-yard line going in during the third quarter which the Razorbacks cashed into a 89-yard touchdown on the next play. Junior running back Vick Ballard also fumbled making the extra effort to stretch to cross the goal line during the first overtime and the ball went through the end zone for a touchback.



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