From the outset, we knew going against a #4 opponent on the road was a tall order, and Mississippi State gave no reason to think any different. The Bulldogs looked like the Playoff contender they still are in a 51-0 shutout that wasn't really as close as the score might indicate.
The Bulldog offense behind Dak Prescott was effective quickly and just too much to be contained by a young defense. Meanwhile, the Vanderbilt offense was just completely ineffective - runs into a stone wall, passes wide, and nothing to dispel the sense that this team just hasn't found its way. The second quarter first-down pass that turned into a fifty yard fumble recovery touchdown just encapsulated the sense that we simply can't have nice things. And injuries to both Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary left Stephen Rivers taking snaps again - a development that bodes ill for next week if neither of the top two QBs are able to go.
Other than that, what can you say? It's hard to take any lessons from a blowout on this scale. You can look for bright spots if you want, but the easiest thing is to just draw a merciful veil over the scene and move on. It's Tennessee week. Looking across the state, the hated rival is not without its flaws. But as vulnerable as they are, right now it's tough to see how Vanderbilt will take advantage of it.