As it does pretty much every week, Vanderbilt got out to a slow start against Mississippi State. But unlike last week against South Carolina, the tide never shifted.
Mississippi State took its opening drive 79 yards for a touchdown. After a quick Vanderbilt three and out, the Bulldogs would go on a 14-play, 55-yard drive that took 7:30 off the clock and ended with a 36-yard field goal. It was 10-0 Mississippi State with 1:48 left in the first quarter and Vanderbilt had run just three offensive plays.
Vanderbilt briefly threatened to get back in the game when, on the first play of the ensuing possession, Mike Wright found Devin Boddie for a 61-yard bomb, but the Commodores had to settle for a field goal. And then, a frankly bizarre stretch in the middle of the second quarter could have given Vanderbilt the momentum, but instead it ended with State holding a 17-3 lead. On a 2nd and 13 at the Mississippi State 29, Will Rogers threw an interception on a tipped ball that gave Vanderbilt the ball at the State 35, but Mike Wright promptly threw an interception to give the ball right back. But three plays later, Vanderbilt’s Jaylen Mahoney appeared to have his second interception of the day, only for replay review to overturn the call on the field.
That left Mississippi State with a fourth down, but Vanderbilt extended the State drive when the Commodores’ Alex Williams destroyed the Bulldogs’ punter. After the gift, Rogers found Makai Polk for a 31-yard strike a few plays later. Another long Mississippi State drive just before halftime would give the Bulldogs a 24-3 lead at the half.
There wasn’t much to write about in the second half. Joseph Bulovas would briefly give Vanderbilt some hope with his second field goal of the day early in the third quarter, but State would keep extending its lead and ended up winning 45-6.
This was a disaster of a day for the Vanderbilt offense; the Commodores ran 43 offensive plays and gained just 155 yards. State, on the other hand, racked up 522 offensive yards on 86 plays.