In terms of unexpected results in SEC play this season, Nick Fitzgerald leading the Mississippi State Bulldogs past the #16 Texas A&M Aggies, 28-13, has to be near the top.
After all, it was only a week ago that Fitzgerald recorded just 59 passing yards and threw four interceptions in A&M’s 19-3 loss to LSU.
Saturday night, though, Fitzgerald looked like a brand new player. After the Bulldogs forced a three-and-out to open the game, Fitzgerald led the team down the field with ease, finishing the drive with a 25 yard touchdown pass to Stephen Guidry to open the scoring.
The Aggies didn’t give up immediately, however. They answered with a field goal and a touchdown of their own (Kellen Mond found Quartney Davis for a 34 yard strike near the end of the half) to go into the break with a 10-7 lead.
The second half was where Fitzgerald really shined bright. He found Osirus Mitchell for a 38 yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, then picked up a pair of rushing touchdowns, the second of which was a 76 yarder later in the fourth quarter which gave the Aggies the 28-13 lead. To make things even worse, the touchdown came two plays after Mond threw an interception in the end zone. Bulldogs linebacker Erroll Thompson made the game-saving pick.
This loss stings for A&M in particular, as they were looking like a possible sleeper in the SEC West. Now with two losses, their path to Atlanta becomes nearly impossible.
For the Bulldogs, the win was much-needed. Now they’re in position to clinch bowl eligibility next week against Louisiana Tech.