Mississippi State seeks bounce-back effort vs. Bowling Green

Mississippi State seeks bounce-back effort vs. Bowling Green

Mississippi State recorded a pair of impressive wins in its first two nonconference games.

The Bulldogs then a 31-16 loss at LSU in their Southeastern Conference opener last week. They will hope to get back on track when they host Bowling Green in a nonconference game on Saturday.

“We’ve identified plenty to improve on from the last game,” Mississippi State coach Mike Leach said. “We need to get a week better this week.”

The Bulldogs (2-1), who began the season by defeating Memphis 49-23 and Arizona 39-17, led LSU 13-0 before getting outscored 31-3 in the final 30:46.

They held the ball for an average of 39 minutes in the first two games but for just 27 against LSU. After averaging 30.5 first downs and 487 yards in the first two games, they had just 15 first downs and 289 yards against the Tigers.

“We’ve got to be consistent,” Leach said. “On all three sides of the ball we interrupted ourselves of being inconsistent.”

The Falcons (1-2) showed resiliency last week.

Coming off a 59-57 loss in seven overtimes against Eastern Kentucky, Bowling Green had to work overtime again vs. Marshall after overcoming two 14-point deficits. The Falcons needed just one extra period to prevail 34-31 against a Thundering Herd team that had just beaten Notre Dame on the road.

“There’s some tenaciousness, no quit in this team,” Falcons coach Scot Loeffler said. “It just shows you: Don’t listen to the noise, don’t worry about what emblem you have on your helmet.

“Anyone in college football can win. Every team that we play, you’re going to have the chance to win or lose the game, plain and simple.”

Bowling Green, which began the season with a 45-17 loss at UCLA, added five transfers to its roster in June.

“We came out with a lot of new transfers, anybody that knows football, that’s hard to do — get a team together that doesn’t have much chemistry in order to win,” senior wide receiver Odieu Hiliare said. “You got to build chemistry, valor, resilience, and we’ve been doing a great job.”

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