Mississippi State's poor clock management costly against South Carolina

Back-to-back timeouts and an awful decision to call a slant route in the final minute cost the Bulldogs big time.

Mississippi State knew they had to come in and play 60 minutes of mistake-free football if they hoped to pull off the road upset against South Carolina. With a chance to tie the score up just before the half, the Bulldogs had the ball in USC territory. The final 30 seconds did not go well.

Here's the scene: with 30 seconds left, MSU had the football on South Carolina's 30-yard line. Dak Prescott was unable to escape pressure and was called for intentional grounding, bringing the ball back to the 41. With 13 seconds still on the clock, Dan Mullen called his second timeout. At the very least a field goal attempt seemed possible.

As the Bulldogs came back on the field, Prescott inexplicably didn't get the snap off and forced the coaching staff to take yet another timeout, which was their final one of the half. Then, instead of throwing something towards the sidelines to stop the clock, Prescott threw a 7-yard slant pass.

Missstclock_medium

The clock ran out and Mullen went nuts, screaming at just about everyone on the sidelines. For a guy who may be coaching with his job on the line, it's not hard to blame him. South Carolina leads 17-10 at halftime.

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