Texas A&M began the week at No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. It ended the week with a loss to a Mississippi State team that gave up 41 points to Samford last week.
The Bulldogs offense had no problem moving the ball on the Aggies, as Dan Mullen’s team racked up 365 rushing yards against the Aggies defense and 574 total yards of offense. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald opened the game with a 74-yard touchdown run.
Nick Fitzgerald is GOOOOOOOOOONE!!!!!
1 Play. 74 Yards.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 5, 2016
The Aggies did play the entire second half without quarterback Trevor Knight, who exited the game with a right shoulder injury. Knight injured his shoulder scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. Without its starting quarterback, the Aggies struggled to generate much offense, though Christian Kirk was a bright spot, scoring 2 touchdowns (1 on a punt return).
While Knight was out, Fitzgerald had no problem with the Aggies defense. The sophomore quarterback threw for 209 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for 182 yards and 2 more scores as well. Aeris Williams of Mississippi State also ran for 140 yards and added a touchdown of his own. Fitzgerald’s second rushing score of the game gave the Bulldogs a 35-21 lead with 3:08 remaining.
The Aggies responded with a Josh Reynolds touchdown, but Mississippi State ran out the clock.
The loss dropped Texas A&M to 7-2 (4-2 SEC). The win moves Mississippi State to 4-5 and 2-3 in the conference.
Mississippi State heads to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 1 Alabama next week while the Aggies host Ole Miss.