MSU, plagued by turnovers throughout the season, continued that pattern during the game.
After moving the ball from their own two-yard line to their 25-yard line, MSU backup fullback Darnell Jones rushed for 10 yards to the 35-yard line, but fumbled on the play. USC's Deandre Eiland recovered the fumble and ran it down to the MSU three-yard line.
USC quarterback Corey Jenkins, a 26-year-old player who was a former first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, scored on the first play of the drive to make the score 21-0 with 9 minutes and 36 seconds left in the second quarter.
USC took the 21-0 lead into halftime.
Jenkins, who was so instrumental in USC's scoring drives in the first half, sat out most of the second half with a sprained left ankle. He finished 5-of-10 passing for 103 yards and also ran for 52 yards.
"Corey's ankle was x-ray negative" said USC head coach Lou Holtz. "We'll just have to wait and see how bad it is (Sunday)."
After seeing USC score a field goal on their first drive of the second half, the MSU offense finally came to life with a 5-play, 80-yard touchdown drive behind the arm of junior quarterback Kevin Fant. Fant was 3-of-3 for 80 yards during the drive.
USC would quickly answer the MSU scoring drive by driving the ball down to the MSU seven-yard line before settling for a 24-yard field goal to make the score 27-7.
After neither team could score on their next two possessions, MSU's offense drove 61 yards down to the USC 19-yard line where Brent Smith kicked a 36-yard field goal to make the score 27-10 with 10:05 to go in the 4th quarter.
That would be the last time MSU would score because their final four possessions of the game all ended in turnovers.
USC would score a late touchdown with 1:06 on the clock to make the final score 34-10.
The Bulldogs' offense, ranked 11th in the SEC entering the game, could muster just 274 yards of total offense. Their run defense, ranked 100th in Division I-A, allowed 230 yards. Overall, USC had 408 yards of total offense.
"To this point, it is one of the most frustrating seasons," said MSU head coach Jackie Sherrill. "It's frustrating because we had a chance to be better at the start of this season."
However, Coach Sherrill isn't looking back but looking forward knowing something has to be done. "I don't dwell on yesterday. Everything has to change. We need to make some changes and make some corrections."
Changes will need to start soon because Mississippi State, whose only win this season came against Division I-AA Jacksonville State, has now lost 14 of its last 19 games. MSU is 2-11 in SEC games during the same period.
There is hope for the future with so many youngsters playing - 25 of the 63 players who played in Saturday's game were freshmen or sophomores. Plus, prior to the last 19 games, MSU, under Coach Sherrill, won 20 of 26 games, including a 13-5 SEC record.
MSU's next game is next Saturday when they face Troy State on Homecoming.
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://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.