2020 Mississippi State Bulldogs football
Armed Forces Bowl champion
Armed Forces Bowl, W 28–26 vs. Tulsa
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionWestern Division
2020 record4–7 (3–7 SEC)
Head coach
Offensive schemeAir raid
Defensive coordinatorZach Arnett (1st season)
Base defense3–3–5 defense
Home stadiumDavis Wade Stadium (Capacity: 61,337)
Seasons
← 2019
2021 →
2020 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 13 Florida x   8 2         8 4  
No. 7 Georgia   7 2         8 2  
Missouri   5 5         5 5  
Kentucky   4 6         5 6  
Tennessee   3 7         3 7  
South Carolina   2 8         2 8  
Vanderbilt   0 9         0 9  
West Division
No. 1 Alabama x$#^   10 0         13 0  
No. 4 Texas A&M   8 1         9 1  
Auburn   6 4         6 5  
LSU*   5 5         5 5  
Ole Miss   4 5         5 5  
Arkansas   3 7         3 7  
Mississippi State   3 7         4 7  
Championship: Alabama 52, Florida 46
  • # – College Football Playoff champion
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • * – ineligible for postseason due to self imposed ban
    Note: Due to COVID-19, the SEC played a conference-only schedule.
Rankings from AP Poll.

The 2020 Mississippi State Bulldogs football team represented Mississippi State University in the 2020 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Bulldogs played their home games at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi, and competed in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They were led by first-year head coach Mike Leach.

In a season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulldogs compiled a 3–7 record in a 10-game all-SEC schedule. As the NCAA had waived bowl eligibility requirements for the season,[1] the Bulldogs received an invitation to the Armed Forces Bowl where they defeated Tulsa, becoming one of the few bowl teams with a losing record to record a bowl victory.

Previous season

The Bulldogs went 2019 6-6 in the regular season 6–6 including a 3–5 record in SEC play to finish in fifth in the Western Division. They were invited to play in the Music City Bowl, where they lost against Louisville. Joe Moorhead was fired in January 2020, several days after the bowl.[2]

SEC Media Days

In the preseason media poll, Mississippi State was predicted to finish in a tie for fifth place in the West Division.[3]

Media poll (West Division)
Predicted finish Team Votes (1st place)
1 Alabama 660 (86)
2 LSU 489 (8)
3 Auburn 488
4 Texas A&M 454 (2)
T5 Ole Miss 238
T5 Mississippi State 238
7 Arkansas 121

Schedule

Mississippi State announced its 2020 football schedule on August 7, 2019.[4] The 2020 schedule consisted of 7 home and 5 away games in the regular season.

The Bulldogs had games scheduled against Alabama A&M, New Mexico, NC State, and Tulane, but were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5][6][7]

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 262:30 p.m.at No. 6 LSUCBSW 44–3421,124
October 36:30 p.m.ArkansasNo. 16SECN Alt.L 14–2113,564
October 106:30 p.m.at KentuckySECNL 2–2412,000
October 173:00 p.m.No. 11 Texas A&M
  • Davis Wade Stadium
  • Starkville, MS
ESPNL 14–2813,142
October 316:00 p.m.at No. 2 AlabamaESPNL 0–4119,424
November 72:30 p.m.Vanderbiltdagger
  • Davis Wade Stadium
  • Starkville, MS
SECNW 24–1712,888
November 216:30 p.m.at No. 13 GeorgiaSECNL 24–3120,524
November 283:00 p.m.at Ole MissSECNL 24–3116,218
December 12[a]6:30 p.m.Auburn
  • Davis Wade Stadium
  • Starkville, MS
SECNL 10–2412,986
December 192:30 p.m.Missouri
  • Davis Wade Stadium
  • Starkville, MS
SECN Alt.W 51–3211,748
December 3111:00 a.m.vs. No. 24 Tulsa*ESPNW 28–269,000
^[a] The game between Auburn and Mississippi State was postponed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Mississippi State team. The game was originally scheduled for November 14.
Schedule Source:[8]

Rankings

Further information: 2020 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. т = Tied with team above or below. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Final 
AP RV RV RV RV 16 RV RV NR  
Coaches RV RV RV RV 14 RV RV NR  
CFP Not released Not released

Game summaries

at No. 6 LSU

See also: 2020 LSU Tigers football team

1 234Total
Bulldogs 3 141017 44
No. 6 Tigers 0 141010 34
  • Sources:
Over/under
LSU -14.5 57
Statistics MSST LSU
First downs 24 25
Total yards 632 425
Rushing yards 9 80
Passing yards 623 345
Turnovers 4 2
Time of possession 30:28 29:32
Team Category Player Statistics
Mississippi State Passing K. J. Costello 36–60, 623 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing Kylin Hill 7 carries, 34 yards
Receiving Osirus Mitchell 7 receptions, 183 yards, 2 TDs
LSU Passing Myles Brennan 27–46, 345 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT
Rushing Chris Curry 9 carries, 47 yards
Receiving Terrace Marshall Jr. 8 receptions, 122 yards, 2TD

Arkansas

See also: 2020 Arkansas Razorbacks football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Razorbacks 7 7 7 0 21
No. 16 Bulldogs 7 0 7 0 14

Statistics

Statistics ARK MSST
First downs 17 24
Total yards 275 400
Rushing yards 63 87
Passing yards 212 313
Turnovers 2 4
Time of possession 23:40 36:20
Team Category Player Statistics
Arkansas Passing Feleipe Franks 20–28, 212 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Trelon Smith 14 rushes, 48 yards
Receiving De'Vion Warren 4 receptions, 100 yards, TD
Mississippi State Passing K. J. Costello 43–59, 313 yards, TD, 3 INT
Rushing Dillon Johnson 9 rushes, 39 yards, TD
Receiving Osirus Mitchell 5 receptions, 61 yards

at Kentucky

See also: 2020 Kentucky Wildcats football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Bulldogs 0 0 2 0 2
Wildcats 0 14 0 10 24

Statistics

Statistics MSST UK
First downs 18 10
Total yards 295 157
Rushing yards 20 84
Passing yards 275 73
Turnovers 6 1
Time of possession 34:49 25:11
Team Category Player Statistics
Mississippi State Passing K. J. Costello 36–55, 232 yards, 4 INT
Rushing Kylin Hill 7 rushes, 17 yards
Receiving Kylin Hill 15 receptions, 79 yards
Kentucky Passing Terry Wilson 8–20, 73 yards, TD
Rushing Terry Wilson 13 rushes, 50 yards
Receiving Josh Ali 2 receptions, 22 yards

No. 11 Texas A&M

See also: 2020 Texas A&M Aggies football team

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 11 Aggies 0 14 14 0 28
Bulldogs 0 0 7 7 14

Statistics

Statistics TAMU MSST
First downs 17 15
Total yards 325 217
Rushing yards 186 -2
Passing yards 139 219
Turnovers 1 2
Time of possession 30:32 29:28
Team Category Player Statistics
Texas A&M Passing Kellen Mond 13–23, 139 yards, 2 TD, INT
Rushing Isaiah Spiller 18 rushes, 114 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Chase Lane 2 receptions, 70 yards, TD
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 15–18, 120 yards, TD
Rushing Jo'Quavious Marks 7 rushes, 25 yards
Receiving Malik Heath 5 receptions, 57 yards, TD

at No. 2 Alabama

See also: 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Bulldogs 0 0 0 0 0
No. 2 Crimson Tide 17 10 0 14 41

Statistics

Statistics MSST ALA
First downs 12 26
Total yards 200 499
Rushing yards 37 208
Passing yards 163 291
Turnovers 3 1
Time of possession 28:18 31:42
Team Category Player Statistics
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 24–37, 147 yards, 2 INT
Rushing Jo'Quavious Marks 9 rushes, 32 yards
Receiving Jo'Quavious Marks 8 receptions, 38 yards
Alabama Passing Mac Jones 24–31, 291 yards, 4 TD
Rushing Najee Harris 21 rushes, 119 yards
Receiving DeVonta Smith 11 receptions, 203 yards, 4 TD

Vanderbilt

See also: 2020 Vanderbilt Commodores football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Commodores 0 0 7 10 17
Bulldogs 14 3 0 7 24

Statistics

Statistics VAN MSST
First downs 30 14
Total yards 478 204
Rushing yards 142 -22
Passing yards 336 226
Turnovers 5 0
Time of possession 32:10 27:50
Team Category Player Statistics
Vanderbilt Passing Ken Seals 31–46, 336 yards, TD, 3 INT
Rushing Keyon Henry-Brooks 20 rushes, 115 yards, TD
Receiving Cam Johnson 10 receptions, 114 yards
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 35–46, 226 yards, TD
Rushing Jo'Quavious Marks 6 rushes, 10 yards, TD
Receiving Malik Heath 9 receptions, 79 yards

at No. 13 Georgia

See also: 2020 Georgia Bulldogs football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Bulldogs 3 14 7 0 24
No. 13 Bulldogs 0 17 7 7 31

Statistics

Statistics MSST UGA
First downs 20 18
Total yards 358 409
Rushing yards 22 8
Passing yards 336 401
Turnovers 0 0
Time of possession 32:07 27:53
Team Category Player Statistics
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 41–52, 336 yards, TD
Rushing Dillon Johnson 8 rushes, 19 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Jaden Walley 7 receptions, 115 yards, TD
Georgia Passing J. T. Daniels 28–38, 401 yards, 4 TD
Rushing Zamir White 11 rushes, 21 yards
Receiving Jermaine Burton 8 receptions, 197 yards, 2 TD

at Ole Miss

See also: 2020 Ole Miss Rebels football team and Egg Bowl

1 2 3 4 Total
Bulldogs 0 14 0 10 24
Rebels 14 7 0 10 31

Statistics

Statistics MSST MISS
First downs 23 24
Total yards 479 550
Rushing yards 39 163
Passing yards 440 387
Turnovers 1 0
Time of possession 32:27 27:33
Team Category Player Statistics
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 45–61, 440 yards, 3 TD
Rushing Will Rogers 4 rushes, 26 yards
Receiving Jaden Walley 9 receptions, 176 yards
Ole Miss Passing Matt Corral 24–36, 385 yards, 2 TD
Rushing Jerrion Ealy 18 rushes, 93 yards, TD
Receiving Elijah Moore 12 receptions, 139 yards

Auburn

See also: 2020 Auburn Tigers football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Tigers 3 3 3 15 24
Bulldogs 0 3 0 7 10

Statistics

Statistics AUB MSST
First downs 19 17
Total yards 343 240
Rushing yards 218 19
Passing yards 125 221
Turnovers 0 2
Time of possession 30:56 29:04
Team Category Player Statistics
Auburn Passing Bo Nix 15–32, 125 yards, TD
Rushing Tank Bigsby 26 rushes, 192 yards
Receiving Seth Williams 3 receptions, 57 yards, TD
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 30–51, 221 yards, TD, 2 INT
Rushing Dillon Johnson 5 rushes, 30 yards
Receiving Jaden Walley 8 receptions, 100 yards

Missouri

See also: 2020 Missouri Tigers football team

1 2 3 4 Total
Tigers 7 3 8 14 32
Bulldogs 14 13 7 17 51

Statistics

Statistics MIZ MSST
First downs 22 24
Total yards 342 446
Rushing yards 101 151
Passing yards 241 295
Turnovers 4 3
Time of possession 28:57 31:03
Team Category Player Statistics
Missouri Passing Connor Bazelak 22–38, 225 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing Larry Rountree III 25 rushes, 121 yards, 2 TD
Receiving Keke Chism 6 receptions, 64 yards, TD
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 21–36, 295 yards, 3 TD, INT
Rushing Jo'Quavious Marks 12 rushes, 70 yards, TD
Receiving Jaden Walley 5 receptions, 129 yards, TD

vs. No. 24 Tulsa (Armed Forces Bowl)

See also: 2020 Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team

Main article: 2020 Armed Forces Bowl (December)

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 24 Golden Hurricane 0 6 7 13 26
Bulldogs 7 0 14 7 28

Statistics

Statistics TLSA MSST
First downs 27 16
Total yards 484 271
Rushing yards 137 123
Passing yards 347 148
Turnovers 2 0
Time of possession 31:19 28:41
Team Category Player Statistics
Tulsa Passing Zach Smith 26–46, 347 yards, TD, 2 INT
Rushing Corey Taylor II 20 rushes, 80 yards, TD
Receiving Keylon Stokes 9 receptions, 117 yards, TD
Mississippi State Passing Will Rogers 19–30, 148 yards, TD
Rushing Jo'Quavious Marks 11 rushes, 72 yards, TD
Receiving Austin Williams 3 receptions, 42 yards

Players drafted into the NFL

See also: 2021 NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position NFL Club
7 253 Marquiss Spencer DE Denver Broncos
7 256 Kylin Hill RB Green Bay Packers

References

  1. ^ "DI Council approves football bowl eligibility requirements waiver". NCAA.org (Press release). October 14, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  2. ^ "Mississippi State fires Moorhead after 2 seasons". ESPN.com. January 3, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Preseason SEC media poll, All-SEC Team announced". SECSports.com. Southeastern Conference. September 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "2020 Football Schedule Announced". Mississippi State University Department of Athletics. August 7, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  5. ^ Talty, John. "SEC moves to conference-only 2020 schedule, pushes back start of season". AL.com. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  6. ^ Visser, David (July 21, 2020). "SWAC Suspends Fall Football Season". FBSchedules.com. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  7. ^ Dellenger, Ross. "Sources: SEC Adopts Conference-Only Schedule With Sept. 26 Start". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  8. ^ "2020 Mississippi State Bulldogs Football Schedule". FB Schedules. Retrieved January 11, 2020.