The first week of college football has come and gone and has left many fans at a loss for words.
Six SEC teams lost their season opener last week, including Vanderbilt’s loss in conference play to South Carolina. One of those six teams also included the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ unexpected loss to South Alabama, 21-20.
The Bulldogs went into Saturday”s game without freshmen defensive end Jeffery Simmons because of suspension. Head Coach Dan Mullen said that Simmons could play in Saturday’s game against South Carolina.
The defense could have more than likely used Simmons to help avoid South Alabama’s touch down to take the lead with 57 seconds left in the game. In addition, South Alabama’s quarterback had more success than the Bulldogs would have liked, completing 24 passes for 285 yards.
Mississippi State's Dan Mullen coy on whether Jeffery Simmons will play vs. South Carolina | https://t.co/T3iJmArJRw
— Creg Stephenson (@CregStephenson) September 7, 2016
On the other side of the field, the Bulldogs will face a South Carolina team that is led by a defensive specialist in head coach Will Muschamp. This will be Muschamp’s first game in Starkville against the Bulldogs as the South Carolina head coach.
Beginning their season against an SEC team, the Gamecocks were able to secure a close win over Vanderbilt last weekend. Despite this being Muschamp’s first season, the Gamecocks have history on their side as they have won the last seven meetings against the Bulldogs.
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) September 2, 2016
In the end, both teams success or failure last week was determined by field goals late in the game: Mississippi State kicker Westin Graves missed a 28-yard field goal resulting in a loss and South Carolina kicker Elliot Fry made a 55-yard field goal for the win. Last week’s results may be foreshadowing Saturday’s match up being decided by a field goal for either team.
Kick off is at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.