Part of this story originally appeared on SECCountry.com.
Texas A&M began the week at No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. It ended the week with a loss to a Mississippi State team that gave up 41 points to Samford last week.
This could make the path to the College Football Playoff a little easier for a handful of teams. Ohio State was No. 6 in the first rankings; unbeaten Washington was No. 5. The Buckeyes still control their own destiny, but having a one-loss SEC team lose certainly doesn’t hurt. It also helps Wisconsin, should the Badgers win out and win the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Bulldogs offense had no problem moving the ball on the Aggies, as Dan Mullen’s team racked up 367 rushing yards against the Aggies defense and 576 total yards of offense. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald opened the game with a 74-yard touchdown run.
While Knight was out, Fitzgerald had no problem with the Aggie defense. The sophomore quarterback threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 182 yards as well. Aeris Williams of Mississippi State also ran for 140 yards and added a touchdown of his own. Fitzgerald’s second score of the game gave the Bulldogs a 35-21 lead with 3:08 remaining.
The Aggies responded with a Josh Reynolds touchdown, but Mississippi State ran out the clock.
The loss is Texas A&M’s second of the season, as the Aggies fall to 7-2. The win moves Mississippi State to 4-5 and 2-3 in the conference.
Mississippi State takes on No. 1 Alabama next week while the Aggies host Ole Miss.