STARKVILLE, Miss. — — An electrical environment and hyped-up Mississippi State group was diminished a bit in sport one of many 2022 season — to no fault of the Bulldogs.
After lightning struck offensively and defensively from MSU’s models within the first jiffy of the sport, literal lightning would halt play for almost three hours. The Bulldogs regrouped and made a late evening memorable in a 49-23 victory over the Tigers.
“I used to be form of impressed with the best way we performed for an opener. The largest factor is we have now to play an entire sport. I used to be happy with the best way that we got here out and performed after the delay,” Mike Leach mentioned. “I assumed we dealt with (the lightning delay) higher than anticipated.”
Led by Bulldog quarterback Will Rogers, MSU outgained the Tigers 542-294 with the majority of the Tigers’ yards coming within the second half. Rogers was 38-of-49 within the sport for 450 yards, 5 touchdowns and an interception. It was the 14th time in his three-year profession that he’s notched over 300 yards and his sixth 400-yard sport.
The 450 yards was Rogers’ most as a Bulldog and Leach was impressed with the composure that he had within the pocket.
“I assumed (Rogers) performed rather well,” Leach mentioned. “I assumed he actually did a very good job holding issues collectively and seeing the sphere. Most likely probably the greatest performances he’s had so far as seeing the sphere.”
MSU’s protection dominated for 2 and a half quarters. MSU gave up two first downs within the first seven possessions and had allowed simply 40 yards halfway by means of the third quarter. It wasn’t till working again Jevyon Ducker broke off a 50-yard run later within the third quarter that the Tigers broke 100 yards of complete offense.
Memphis scored on every of its closing three drives to chop into Mississippi State’s 35-3 lead and lower it to 19. Sophomore quarterback Seth Henigan threw for 165 yards on 19-of-30 with a landing cross.
Rogers accomplished passes to 12 receivers and 4 receivers caught 5 or extra passes every. His 5 TD passes all went to completely different receivers.
Rara Thomas was a type of who bought an opportunity to indicate what he might do at receiver. The sophomore had 5 catches for 81 yards and a landing, together with a landing on the primary drive.ok He had three catches within the sequence and MSU took a 7-0 lead.
Halfway by means of the primary quarter, lightning struck about eight miles from the stadium and despatched the 2 groups into the locker rooms. The Bulldogs got here out and would lead 28-3 within the first half and prolonged it to 35-3 earlier than the Tigers had been in a position to shut the hole a bit.
What may need been one of many larger surprises within the sport was the Bulldogs’ willingness to run the soccer. MSU threw for 450 yards on these 49 makes an attempt but in addition ran it 34 instances for 97 yards. The 2 beginning backs, Jo’Quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson, ran 28 instances for 103 yards with Marks working in two touchdowns.
Memphis gave up 32 first downs to the Bulldogs and had simply 13 of its personal. The Tigers had been additionally 3-of-12 on third downs whereas MSU went 11-of-13.
Issues bought sloppy down the stretch for Mississippi State however the Bulldogs had been spectacular within the first three quarters. It was an opportunity for MSU to get a measure of revenge after dropping a sport in Memphis a season in the past, however it wasn’t a full 4 quarters for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State travels to Arizona for a matchup with the Wildcats subsequent Saturday
Memphis has an AAC sport at Navy subsequent Saturday