Mississippi State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Mississippi State Bulldogs


Mississippi State is a very good team, overlooked because they are buried in the best conference in the nation, the SEC. They compiled an impressive 8-4 overall record despite playing a difficult conference schedule. It is hard to win in the SEC and Mississippi State has been finding that out first hand for years and are probably jumping at the opportunity to play someone outside of their conference.

2012 Record: 8-4, 4-4
Coach: Dan Mullen
Coach Bowl Record: 2-0

Big Wins: 10/13 Tennessee (41-31), 11/17 Arkansas (45-14)
Bad Losses: 11/3 Texas A&M (13-38), 11/24 at Mississippi (24-41)

One thing is for sure, when you play these Bulldogs they are not going down without a fight and they will not beat themselves. Their defense was able to create havoc, causing turnovers, while their offense was able to protect the football. This resulted in the fifth best turnover margin in the nation. This is a key stat in determining the likely outcomes of a game and with it in the Bulldogs favor they have to feel confident regardless of who they play. As a defensive unit they only allowed 22.42 points per contest. This is good for 29th in the nation and is an impressive stat considering the teams that they faced. On the offensive side of the ball the Bulldogs do a great job of protecting their quarterback, as opponents average just 1.33 sacks per game against them. Protecting the quarterback is important to any team, but especially to the Bulldogs who would rather lean on the pass than the run. Their passing attack is decent, racking up nearly 250 yards per game, which is led by junior signal caller Tyler Russell.

The Bulldogs defense, although stingy in allowing points, were gashed by teams who stuck to the ground and pound game. This unit allowed 166 yards per game on the ground, far too many to be an elite team. Their shortcomings in stopping the run have caused problems in stopping the pass as well, as offenses could take advantage of a loaded box or set up the play action passing attack. This allowed quarterbacks to pick apart the defense and complete a lot of passes. Mississippi State finished the year ranked 56th in pass efficiency defense. Quarterbacks were also able to sit in the pocket comfortably and for long periods of time as this unit only averaged a sack a half every game, 96th in the nation. Their inability to penetrate the offensive line also showed when it came to making plays in the backfield, as they were only able to muster a little over five tackles for loss each game, 80th in the nation.  On the offensive side of the ball the Bulldogs found it difficult to move the ball on the ground, accumulating about 140 yards per game, 11th in the conference and 85th in the nation.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: LaDarius Perkins, RB, 940 yards
Passing: Tyler Russell, QB, 2,791 yards
Receiving: Chad Bumphis, WR, 904 yards
Tackles: Cameron Lawrence, LB, 98
Sacks: Preston Smith, DE, 4.5
Interceptions: Darius Slay, CB, 5

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 140.67 (85th in nation, 11th in conference)
Passing Offense: 248.75 (50, 6)
Total Offense: 389.42 (77, 8)
Scoring Offense: 30.25 (54, 7)
Rushing Defense: 166.00 (71, 12)
Pass Defense: 223.92 (46, 8)
Total Defense: 389.92 (55, 9)
Scoring Defense: 22.42 (29, 7)
Turnover Margin: 1.42 (5, 1)
Sacks: 1.50 (96, 13)
Sacks Allowed: 1.33 (28, 2)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Music City Bowl         Wake Forest (23-17)
2010    Gator Bowl                Michigan (52-14)
2007    Liberty Bowl              UCF (10-3)
2000    Independence Bowl    Texas A&M (43-41)
1999    Peach Bowl               Clemson (17-7)

*all team stats through 11/24


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