This is my first Forum post so please bear with me....
I went to the game yesterday and can still hear the damn cowbells ringing in my ears. They were still ringing outside of my hotel well into the night. Anyway, I wanted to share a few observations about the game.
Fourth down conversions seemed to be a huge issue to me. Mississippi State went 5/5 (100%). Michigan went 0/5 (0%). It might be relevant to note that MSU was 9/17 (53%) on third down conversions. Michigan was 2/10 (20%). That's right, Michigan completed a whopping TWO of its third or fourth down conversions on the day. Don't kid yourself, this is not a Top 10 offense.
You could tell that Mississippi State never had to think twice about punting once they crossed midfield. They were pretty methodical about moving the ball down the field and typically were in fourth and short (less than three) when the situation arose. It was easy for them.
On the other hand, Michigan seemed to be in fourth and long (more than three) most of the time. Also, Michigan never really used third down to set up a fourth down play. This is has been a problem all season, especially in obvious four down situations. Why not set up a third down play that will allow for fourth and short instead of taking two consecutive shots at lower percentage plays (and failing both times)?
Basically, Mississippi State could do what ever it wanted on fourth down and Michigan was at its mercy all day.
A few other comments....
I think that there were two reviewed plays (potential fumbles) that were both ruled in MSU's favor and ultimately resulted in TD's. The reviews were correct, I'm just pointing out a few brief rays of hope that we had.
The defense couldn't get any pressure from the edge. It was maddening to see the whole middle of the field open up for Relf while Michigan struggled to get pressure.
The Michigan fanbase was completely out of the game in the fourth quarter. MSU was in a goal line situation late in the game. None of the Michigan fans in that end of the field even bothered to stand up and make a little noise. Apathy had set in and it wasn't pretty.
Other than that, Jacksonville seemed like a pretty fun town. I'm strongly considering heading down there for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party next year.