Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Mississippi State fans dont need many reasons to send the decibel level skyrocketing with their beloved cowbells, but the clang youve been hearing lately is the Bulldogs season hitting rock bottom. Theyve lost three straight games and have dropped out of the BCS top-25, ruining a 7-0 start in which they were barely tested. Only the ultimate optimist would have believed Mississippi State would defeat Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU in consecutive weeks, but the Bulldogs were blown out by the Crimson Tide, werent competitive against the Aggies and let the score get out of hand late in last weeks loss in Baton Rouge. Its called the Southeastern Conference, coach Dan Mullen said on a teleconference. Ive seen it before as a head coach. Ive seen it plenty as an assistant coach. And Ive seen it sitting and watching other people play before we go play on a Saturday afternoon. You want to play against the best, and thats what you have here in the Southeastern Conference. Yes, the SEC is tough. Alabama was No. 1 when it routed the Bulldogs 38-7 on Oct. 27 and Texas A&M jumped out to a 24-point lead in its 38-13 win. But Mississippi States players pointed to small mistakes that turned a three-point deficit into a 37-17 loss last week. We might lose lack of focus for one second. Thats what happens in football, cornerback Corey Broomfield said. You lose lack focus for one play and it ends up being a touchdown. Its magnified a thousand times. If youre playing a top-10 team in the nation, you cant let that happen. Arkansas (4-6, 2-4), Saturdays opponent, should help the Bulldogs reach the eighth victory that has eluded them the past three weeks. Only 15 other teams in school history have won at least eight games, but its happened seven times since 1981. This years group of seniors experienced a nine-win season in 2010 and will become only the second senior class in school history to play in three straight bowl games. Part of Mississippi States struggles can be linked to the health of running back LaDarius Perkins. Hes been bothered by a quad injury and missed last weeks loss at LSU. As a result of his injury and the level of competition, the Bulldogs have rushed for just 192 yards in the past three games, or 64 yards a game.Perkins rushed for 38 yards against Alabama and 42 vs. Texas A&M, but has 804 and eight touchdowns for the year and keeps opposing defenses from focusing on quarterback Tyler Russell. (Perkins has) had a really good season for us, but you expect that with an older guy coming in, Mullen said. He waited his turn. He was a role player and that rotating back for the last two years and now he gets to come in and be the guy. So, hes had a really good year for us. We expect him to play on Saturday. Russell already has set the schools single-season mark with 17 touchdown passes and hes 173 yards from school record for passing yards in a season. He has 2,249 after setting his career high with 295 yards and 26 completions against LSU. But the Bulldogs rushed for 47 yards against LSU and the Tigers Craig Loston returned an interception 100 yards for the final score with 1:13 remaining. Weve had some bad breaks the past couple of games and made some mistakes, but were correcting those mistakes, Russell said. I think the attitude at practice is high, really good. Were just trying to finish the season out strong.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

WATCH: Paul George takes court for first time since leg injury

Five most surprising NFL players through seven weeks

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.