Mississippi State moved to 2-0 by winning 57-21 at Louisiana Tech. MSU fell behind 9-0 in the first quarter, then outscored La Tech 36-5 in the final 20 minutes of the first half.
Here are four takeaways from Mississippi State’s victory.
1. Nick Fitzgerald started slow, finished fast
The skinny: Fitzgerald started slow Saturday in Ruston, throwing incompletions and an interception, but ended up having a solid day. He threw for just 124 yards, but completed 67 percent of his passes and threw for three touchdowns. Fitzgerald also rushed for 111 and two other scores, tallying five touchdowns on the day.
2. Todd Grantham brought the sauce, again
The skinny: Louisiana Tech went right down the field on its opening drive and had to settle for a field goal, causing a little panic from the Mississippi State contingent, but after that, the Bulldogs dominated the Tech offense, causing three fumbles, intercepting a pass and allowing only 315 total yards. Tech was just 4-of-15 on third down, and the Bulldogs again looked much improved defensively under Grantham.
3. DT Jeffery Simmons is a man-child
The skinny: Simmons, a sophomore, flexed his muscles Saturday night. He blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown, and he also had a scoop-and-score on a fumble that covered 90 yards. Simmons, who has moved inside to play nose guard for Grantham, is a load in the middle for opposing offenses. He proved again Saturday he not only anchors the Bulldogs’ defensive front, he leads it.
4. Hill-Williams pace the Bulldog backfield
The skinny: Much was made about who would join Aeris Williams in the backfield to give coach Dan Mullen a one-two running back punch to go along with Fitzgerald. After two games, it’s apparent it’s Williams and true freshman Kylin Hill. The duo combined for 170 yards and a score on Saturday night, and both averaged more than six yards per attempt. While the offensive line still needs some shoring up, Hill and Williams provide the Bulldogs with a viable rushing combo heading into conference play.
(You can follow Jake Wimberly on Twitter @Jakewim)
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