STARKVILLE, Miss. — When BYU and Mississippi State met last season at LaVell Edwards Stadium, the Cougars edged the Bulldogs in double-overtime, 28-21.
On the first play of the second OT, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Balderree to give the Cougars their first lead of the game — which also turned out to be the game-winner.
In that contest, Jamaal Williams became BYU’s all-time leading rusher.
MSU quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who is now a junior, threw a touchdown pass and ran for two more.
“I remember it was a tough-fought game. I felt like defensively we gave up too many points,” said Cougar cornerback Troy Warner. “I think we’ll switch things up this year, trying to contain the quarterback the best that we can and shut down their receivers on the outside. They have some athletes so it’s going to be tough but I think we’ll be well-prepared.”
Saturday, BYU and MSU meet again, this time at Davis Wade Stadium.
Cougar quarterback Tanner Mangum didn’t play in last year’s matchup but he remembers it well.
“It was a hard-fought game in double-overtime,” he said. “It’s definitely an awesome chance now to get there and have a rematch. We’re all looking forward to the opportunity to play there.”
Certainly, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, a former Utah assistant, hasn’t forgotten last year's game either. After the setback, he was upset with how his team played as well as the officiating.
Mullen expects Saturday’s game to be another battle.
“It's going to be a tough game, playing a team we played last year in what was a double-overtime battle,” he said, “so we know how physical they are.”
EARLY WAKE-UP CALL: Coming off an 8:30 p.m. kickoff against Boise State last Friday, BYU will play early Saturday morning — 10 a.m. MDT.
The Cougars say they don’t mind the pre-noon start.
“I’m not worried about the time. We wake up every day at 6 a.m. for practice,” said cornerback Troy Warner. “The time won’t affect us at all. We’ll be all right.”
BYU VS. TEAMS AFTER BYE: For the second consecutive week, BYU is facing a team coming off a bye week.
Last week, Boise State, which lost to Virginia at home before its bye, defeated the Cougars 24-7. This week’s opponent, Mississippi State, got drilled 49-10 by Auburn before its bye.