South Alabama upsets Mississippi State for season opener

STARKVILLE, MISS– Down 17-0 at halftime, the South Alabama Jaguars came back from behind to defeat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 21-20 at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville Saturday. 

The Bulldogs held a commanding lead at halftime, but the Jaguars scored 21 points in the second half, with a touchdown in the final minute pushing them ahead.

Mississippi State had the ball with 57 seconds left on the clock. The trip downfield was quick, but what was thought to be a comeback was lost with nine seconds left on the clock as the field goal bounced off the uprights. This allowed the Jags to take a knee, securing the win.

“We had some opportunities to win the game and didn’t take advantage of them,” head coach Dan Mullen said. “They made plays when they needed to make plays to win the game.”

The Bulldogs totaled 382 yards of offense, led by junior quarterback Damian Williams who completed 20-of-28 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for a game-high 93 yards. Senior receiver Fred Ross was Williams’ favorite target, catching six passes for 34 yards.

MSU allowed 379 yards while holding the Jaguars to only 94 yards on the ground. Freshman linebacker Leo Lewis paced the team with nine tackles, including for two for loss. Senior defensive end A.J. Jefferson led the team with four tackles for loss, including two quarterback sacks.