Balance helps Texas A&M win Top 25 showdown with Mississippi State

Texas A&M keeps rolling, tops Mississippi State

ESPN college football reporter Edward Aschoff breaks down the Aggies' comfortable, 30-17 home win over the Bulldogs.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M has had difficulty beating ranked teams at Kyle Field since Kevin Sumlin arrived, but the Aggies finally got a win by defeating No. 21 Mississippi State 30-17 on Saturday. For the Aggies, it's their first win in six games against Top 25 teams at home since 2012 (they're 8-4 away from home in that span).

Both quarterbacks had good nights -- Texas A&M's Kyle Allen was 25-of-41 for 322 yards and two touchdowns, while Mississippi State's Dak Prescott threw for 210 yards and ran for 96 and a touchdown. The Bulldogs are now 1-9 on the road against AP top-15 teams under Dan Mullen.

What the win means for Texas A&M: The Aggies improve to 5-0, making it the second straight season they've begun the year with five consecutive wins. Last season, the wheels came off at that point as Texas A&M endured three consecutive losses. Will this year be different? It's starting to look like it, thanks in large part to an improved defense and the maturity of Allen, who made just his 10th start on Saturday.

What the loss means for Mississippi State: The Bulldogs suffered their second conference loss, making an SEC West championship almost out of reach, barring some late-season craziness. No matter what outsiders predicted before the season (the Bulldogs were predicted to finish last in the division at SEC media days), an SEC West title was the goal for this group. The schedule lightens up in the next two weeks with nonconference games vs. Troy and Louisiana Tech before resuming SEC play on Oct. 24 vs. Kentucky. A good season is still within reach for the Bulldogs, but improvements have to be made in a few areas.

Stat of the game: Texas A&M won the turnover battle 2-0, and that was the difference Saturday. Mississippi State went through a seven-drive stretch of empty possessions spanning the second and third quarters. And its first two drives of the second half both ended in fumbles (one of which was inside Texas A&M's 10-yard line). Credit Texas A&M's Donovan Wilson and Myles Garrett who forced those fumbles; Mississippi State would have loved to have those points to make it a closer ballgame at the end.

Unsung hero: Texas A&M running back Tra Carson gave the Aggies' offense a sense of balance with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Allen, Josh Reynolds and Christian Kirk make the highlight reel and justifiably so, but Carson turned in a workmanlike effort to help the Aggies compile 194 rushing yards on the night.