Bulldogs enter rankings after historic win

Bulldogs enter rankings after historic win
SOURCE: MSU Athletics (Source: MSU Athletics)

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After defeating defending national champion No. 6 LSU on Saturday, Mississippi State made its debut in the 2020 national rankings a day later.   

Led by head coach Mike Leach, the Bulldogs checked in at No. 14 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 16 in The Associated Press Top 25. The appearances mark MSU’s highest ranking since 2018, when the Bulldogs earned the No. 14 spot in each poll in Week 4. It’s the first time State has been ranked at the same time by the coaches and AP since 2018 entering postseason.   

MSU’s 44-34 season-opening victory at LSU is its highest-ranked road win in program history. Graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello earned Walter Camp Football Foundation FBS National Offensive Player of the Week honors Sunday after he threw for 623 yards in the win. He shattered the MSU and SEC single-game passing yards record, and his 623 yards also ranks 11th in NCAA history. Costello completed 36 passes on 60 attempts, which were also MSU school records. He matched the program record for passing touchdowns with five. State is currently the NCAA leader in passing yards per game (623.0).

The Bulldogs' Air Raid offense featured three 100-yard receivers Saturday. Senior wide receiver Osirus Mitchell caught seven passes for 183 yards and two scores. Senior running back Kylin Hill had 192 all-purpose yards, including 158 receiving for the most ever by an MSU running back in a single game. Senior wide receiver JaVonta Payton rounded out the trio with 122 yards receiving on six receptions. 

Defensively, MSU sacked LSU seven times, including a pair by senior defensive end Marquiss Spencer. Sophomore safety Shawn Preston Jr. led the Bulldogs with 11 tackles. Senior linebacker Erroll Thompson and sophomore linebacker Aaron Brule also turned in double-digit tackle efforts, while sophomore cornerback Esaias Furdge and freshman cornerback Emmanuel Forbes each had an interception.

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