Fitzgerald helps No. 17 Mississippi State top Arkansas 28-21

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 19, 2017

They had already earned bowl eligibility for a school-record eighth straight season. "The last drive we went out there with full confidence and we knew we were going to punch it in".

Fitzgerald accounted for three touchdowns and totaled 254 yards in the win, finishing 12-of-23 passing for 153 yards and rushing 22 times for 101 yards.

It came at the expense of an Arkansas (4-7, 1-6) team that's now lost nine of its last 13 games, delivering yet another blow to the future of embattled Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema in the process.

Bielema is now 29-33 overall in his fifth season with the Razorbacks, 11-28 in the SEC.

Any mojo the Hogs had was squandered with 3:01 remaining in a 21-21 game at the Arkansas 44-yard line when the call was to go to La'Michael Pettway on a post pattern. That's what we wanted to do today. "We didn't do enough". Arkansas was able to capitalize off Mississippi State mistakes early on.

Arkansas led by a touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter, but Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald tied the game with 4:07 remaining with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Todd. "Thought we had a real good shot", Bielema said after the game.

Fifth-year senior Austin Allen finished 11-for-17 through the air, for 1119 yards.

The Bulldogs lost 31-24 a week ago to No. 1 Alabama, with the Crimson Tide scoring in the final minute for the victory. Blake Johnson punted the ball off of the back of a Mississippi State player, and Arkansas was able to recover the ball in MSU territory. "I didn't have a hangover, I was fine".

NUMBERS TO KNOW: MSU's now averaging 250.6 rushing yards per game, which would be best in MSU history since the school record was set in 1980 if that mark holds (Arkansas is averaging 191 rushing yards allowed per game).For all of Arkansas' offensive shortcomings at times, it's actually a rock-solid third down team: 43.26 percent conversion rate ranks top 40 in the nation.On that subject, watch out for Arkansas' Cheyenne O'Grady on third down: he's caught eight third-down passes and six have either scored a touchdown or moved the chains.Even if Arkansas leads late, there's no need to worry: Under Bielema, Arkansas is only 24-11 when leading after three quarters. I don't think so. Arkansas defensive end McTelvin Agim was at the forefront of the defense's stellar performance, finishing with nine tackles, 2 ½ tackles for losses, including a sack and two forced fumbles.

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