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Mississippi State floats by Vanderbilt, 24-17

A win’s a win, right?

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

By no means was it pretty, but the Mississippi St. Bulldogs earned a much-needed win on Saturday.

The Bulldogs defeated the winless Vanderbilt Commodores 24-17 on Saturday in Starkville. They staved off what would’ve been a fifth straight loss after their season-opening win over the LSU Tigers. And what’s more of course would be that they would’ve lost to a Commodore squad that has been anything but good this season.

The game was a lot closer than many suspected it would be, though. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead after touchdowns from Osirus Mitchell and Dillon Johnson . A field goal by Brandon Ruiz made it 17-0, but Vanderbilt chipped away and away. Late in the third quarter, they struck off a Chris Pierce touchdown reception from Ken Seals, and then Keyon Henry-Brooks raced to the end zone on a 27-yard scamper.

However, the Bulldogs forced a fumble and then took it in the end zone four plays later on a one-yard run by Jo’quavious Marks. That iced the game up, as despite a very late field goal by Pierson Cooke, State wrapped things up tidily and returned to the win column.

The win certainly eases things for Mike Leach in his first year at Mississippi State, which was hurdling towards disaster territory after such a booming start. The loss for Vanderbilt really just keeps things at the status quo for them unfortunately. It’s growing increasingly harder to see any spots where they could claim some wins, which is a dire situation to say the least.

The cosmic ballet for Vanderbilt goes on though, as they’ll face the Kentucky Wildcats next week in pursuit of that elusive tally in the win column. State, meanwhile, will host the Auburn Tigers.