|Yards Gained Rushing||258||137|
|Yards Lost Rushing||20||18|
|NET YARDS RUSHING||238||119|
|NET YARDS PASSING||60||261|
|TOTAL OFFENSIVE PLAYS||62||80|
|TOTAL NET YARDS||298||380|
|Average Gain Per Play||4.8||4.8|
|Number of Punts-Yards||6-253||4-142|
|Average Per Punt||42.2||35.5|
|Punt Returns: Number-Yards||1-0||2-21|
|Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards||3-52||4-88|
|Fumble Returns: Number-Yards||0-0||0-0|
|Third-Down Conversions||6 of 15||9 of 18|
|Fourth-Down Conversions||0 of 0||1 of 2|
|Sacks By: Number-Yards||1-10||1-4|
LEADERS FOR MSU:
Rushing: Dontae Walker - 10 rushes for 50 yards and 1 TD.
Passing: Wayne Madkin - 27-of-46, 261 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
Receiving: Terrell Grindle - 6 receptions for 80 yards; Harold Lindsey - 6 receptions for 44 yards and 1 TD.
Punting: Jared Cook - 4 for 1426 yards, a 35.5 average.
Tackles: Josh Morgan - 9, Mario Haggan - 8, Kahlil Nash and T.J. Mawhinny - 7.
OTHER GAME NOTES:
QUOTES FROM THE PLAYERS AND COACH:
COACH JACKIE SHERRILL:
On making adjustments to their game-plan:
"We did not make some adjustments to a couple of their formations and they did a great job. We were able to move the ball up and down the field but didn't make the plays to win the game. There was no question that they did a good job of game-planning, especially doing some things offensively to offset some of the things that we do defensively. Offensively, we had a chance if we make three catches -- more than three -- we still had plenty of opportunities to do some things."
On no player stepping up as a playmaker:
"I told our players afterwards, from all the way down, we didn't have anybody step up and make the plays that it took to win the game."
The difference in the game:
"Five plays were the difference. The two turnovers, the 1st and 30, the third and short (didn't name the fifth play)."
The kicking game:
"I think we will find out some things about our kicking game. We didn't perform very well in our punt-blocking team or our punt return turn. It was Ray Ray's first time out there. I think we will do something there."
"Dicenzo has a high ankle sprain. He got it early in the game but played the whole game with it. Sometimes those last a long time."
On his players staying in the game until the end:
"The good thing about our players was they stayed in the game and kept plugging away and tried to win the game somehow."
"When you don't catch the ball, that is poor execution. Or when you put the ball on the ground. Their were certain adjustments that we didn't well defensively."
"There were quite a few times that we didn't execute at that position. There were a few times early in the game where he threw the ball downfield when he should have run with it."
The first two drives by the MSU offense:
"In the first drive we took it down there and scored. In the second drive, instead of making first downs, we threw the ball deep instead of pulling it down and making first downs or throwing it out in the flat."
On the 35-yard touchdown run by USC's Andrew Pinnock:
"They ran a play we were not prepared for. We didn't do a very good job with it."
MSU CORNERBACK KOREY BANKS:
How he took the loss:
"I don't know what to say. This is a moment that I don't like. We will rebuild and be ready next week."
Did the lay-off have an effect:
"No. South Carolina is a good team but we have to put up more than seven points in a game. Give us 17 points a game and we should lose any more games. I'm not pointing the blame but 7 points won't cut it in the SEC."
Coach Sherrill said they did some things that the defense did not prepare for:
"We still could have stopped that. They shouldn't have been able to run the ball like they did. We only gave up one touchdown today. The field goal kicker was on point today."
"We will give it all we got. I can't make any predictions but everybody will come together and try and find our identity."
On fellow defensive back Richard Ball losing his sister in the terrorist attack in New York:
"I did not find out about it until Wednesday in the team meeting we had that night. He seems to have taken it pretty well. His sister was driving by (the World Trade Center) and something fell on her. I'm not sure about the entire story. I haven't said much to him because when that happens, there isn't much you can say. My brother is in the Navy and he has to go over there Sunday. Hopefully, it won't get down to that."
MSU FULLBACK JUSTIN GRIFFITH:
On the first drive:
"The first drive really worked for us, then we seemed to have lost our focus after it."
What caused you guys to struggle offensively:
"There were a number of things. Our mind really wasn't on the game. Our minds were really on what was going on in the world last week. We came back this week and got our focus back. Plus, South Carolina has a lot of people on the front line. We didn't have the right people in the right places. We just have to go back to the basics."
On the pre-game ceremony having the players involved:
"It made us feel real good and got our minds focused. We came out and scored the touchdown. It helped us emotionally."
MSU TIGHT END DONALD LEE:
On USC's defense:
"We spent a week preparing their defense. We knew they were going to find difference matchups trying to find mis-matches. We had a couple of busts plays and South Carolina is a pretty good team."
The MSU offense was to carry the team the early part of the season but you guys only scored 14 points. Are you disappointed in the play of the offense:
"I'm not disappointed in the offense because I feel that everybody played hard tonight. I think we, as a team, could have played better."
MSU DEFENSIVE TACKLE DORSETT DAVIS:
What does this team need to do:
"We have to get some drives down the field. We have to put some points on the board, plain and simple. If our offense can't put 21 points on the board, we are going to lose."
On the long lay-off between games:
"We were a little rusty but we knew we were going to be a little rusty. We had in our mind that we were going to get the job done but it didn't happen."
On their offense doing something special:
"It wasn't anything special that they were doing. They ran an off-balance offense that we didn't see on the film or on the practice field. Other than that, we had seen everything that they did. I think that we played well, although we didn't play up to our potential. We just have to get more out of our offense."
As a senior, what does he tell the young guys after this loss:
"Just keep your heads up and go back and look at film and correct our mistakes."
MSU DEFENSIVE TACKLE KAHLIL NASH:
The difference in the game:
"A couple of fields goals (made by USC) and a missed field goal (by MSU) and the game was over."
On the play of the MSU defense:
"I think we played real well. We stopped them two times within the 10 yard line."
On the long lay-off:
"It was good for us because it gave us two weeks off to get fresh legs. We have been in the weightroom hard. We played hard. A couple of mistakes and we lost the game."
MSU QUARTERBACK WAYNE MADKIN:
On South Carolina:
"Hats off to South Carolina. They made less mistakes than us."
On his play:
"I wish I could have made....those balls that were inches off....I wish I could have made those plays. It is hard for me being a fifth-year senior....I felt I should have been able to step up and make those plays. I am really upset with myself."
Was the offense out of sync:
"I never felt the offense was out of sync. We just couldn't get it in the end zone. We would drive the ball down the field, then on third down we didn't get it done."
On having to scramble so much:
"The offensive line did a great job. Their defensive secondary did a good job running their coverage. I should have run the ball more. They were giving me time but I got a little spoiled. I was sitting in the pocket at times when I should have used my other abilities and take off and run."
Were you told to not run:
"No, I am never told not to run. I have trust in my receivers and would rather they go up and catch the ball than for me to run with the ball."
A FEW HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS WHO WERE IN ATTENDANCE:
Sophomore DT Quenavin Merriweather, Fayette County HS, 6-7, 310, 5.4, Bench 295, Squat 450.
Senior LB/TE Jerome Franks, Fayette County HS, 6-0, 210, 4.9, Bench 285.
Senior OL Dustin Nichols, Fayette County HS, 6-1.5, 340, 5.5, Bench 425, Squat 605, Leg Press 1,400.
Senior OL Jay Kirkland, New Albany HS.
PICTURES FROM THE PRE-GAME CEREMONY:
Highway patrol cars behind the end zone.
Flag waving in the center of the Dog Pound.
The American flag being unraveled.
The American flag.
The American flag.
The American flag.
The players from both teams waving the American flag.
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://www.genespage.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.