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NC State falls flat in 24-10 loss to Mississippi State

Let’s never do that again.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes it’d really be helpful to have a time machine. See, if I could have been alerted that the opening-kickoff return touchdown by Mississippi State was going to tell me everything I needed to know about the game, I could have saved three hours and put it to better use. Gone to bed early, read a book, threw myself off a bridge, whatever.

For the vast majority of the night, those seven points were all that the Bulldogs needed to win. Out of all the ways that NC State could have lost this game, the offense not showing up at all would not have been my guess for how it would happen. Alas.

The defense did its job, limiting MSU’s offense to 17 points, but the offense was lost all night and didn’t find the end zone until it was far too late to make a difference. Just made the score look slightly better, is all.

What an immensely disappointing game. More efforts like this are not going to get much done this season, that’s for certain. NC State didn’t look ready for the moment and allowed itself to get beaten easily by an average opponent. This is not a game that has to define the season, but it might say more about what lies ahead than we’d like.

It definitely leaves a lot of questions for this group to answer. They’re better than this, but nothing about what they did when they had the ball was encouraging. If this season isn’t going to end up a disappointment, then this game needs to be an outlier. Let’s hope they can put it behind them and it becomes just that.

That’s all the optimism I can muster right now.