A night that started with great promise with true freshman quarterback David Piland guiding the Houston Cougars to a seemingly effortless first possession touchdown, quickly turned into one of misfortune on a fumbled punt return leading to the first of six Mississippi State touchdowns.
Houston’s home field winning streak came to an end at 18 games.
The Bulldog’s pounded out 409 yards on the ground rushing 57 times behind running back Vic Ballard’s 135 yard performance. and quarterback Chris Relf’s 98 yards rushing. Relf later left the game with an injury, but back up Tyler Russell kept the offense rolling as Mississippi State (4-2, 1-2 SEC West) beat Houston (3-2, 2-0 C-USA West) 24-47 at Robertson Stadium.
Overall, Mississippi State finished with 538 yards of offense to Houston’s 403 yards.
Houston quarterback Piland completed 30-57 attempts for 301 yards in his first collegiate start.
The Houston running game was stymied amassing only 47 yards on 16 attempts. Running back Bryce Beall finished with 23 yards on eight carries. He had been averaging 104.5 yards per game on the season prior to tonight’s game.
Tyron Carrier led all Houston receivers with 90 yards on ten receptions. E.J. Smith added 86 yards on four receptions.
In the post-game press conference Houston Head Coach Kevin Sumlin said, “They [Mississippi State] played very, very well. They executed and we didn’t. I thought that we came out with a lot of energy and intensity, with a plan. I thought that David was very, very sharp in the beginning of the game.”
When asked if Piland was to be new the starting quarterback, he said, “Yes.”
On the rest of the season and next week’s conference game at Rice, he said, “Our goal this season is to win a conference championship and to keep the [Bayou] Bucket.”
Linebacker Marcus McGraw said, “We really wanted tom protect our home field and to try and continue our streak.”
Next up, Rice at Rice Stadium at 2:30 pm on Saturday, October 16th.