I feel like a broken record, but again today State wins a football game where they did not look that great throughout. The bulldogs led off with an outstanding 13 play, 85 yard drive where we mixed perfectly the pass and run, but over the course of the game, after we had secured a comfortable lead, we seemed to pull our foot off the gas a bit. Like Andre Ware said, it almost seemed like we "didn't want to hurt Kentucky's feelings by winning too big." Anyways, like Sweet Tea Harvey said a win is a win, and here we are, blessed enough to be complaining about things when we're 5-0. Several years back, we would probably be complaining after losing to a Kentucky type team. Here are your quick hits from today's 27-14 win over the Wildcats.
- Chad Bumphis has finally become the player we always knew he could be. Was it just that he needed a good quarterback to get him the ball? Perhaps. No matter what was going on with him in year's 1-3, he has definitely become THE go-to option in this offense in 2012. Bumphis had 9 receptions for 104 yards today and a touchdown. He made an outstanding grab up the seam on what was an even prettier throw in the first half. Even though it has been concerning to see Chad Smith's drops and the lack of Joe Morrow this year, it's good to know you have a guy out there like Chad Bumphis who you can rely on to be the "it" factor when a game is on the line.
- Want to hear something you probably haven't in awhile? A Mississippi State offense threw the ball nearly 40 times. I expected State to come out and be run heavy due to Kentucky's struggles with the run game, but the Dogs were passing first throughout, and Tyler Russell didn't disappoint with his attempts. Russell finished 23 for 39 for 269 yards and 2 TDs. Russell has developed outstanding poise in the pocket, holding the ball long enough to let plays develop, like he did on the Adrian Marcus throwback touchdown for State's first score of the game. However, Russel also took quite a few shots, and has taken quite a few shots in the first 5 games. Whether it's strictly on the offensive line or on how long he holds the ball, you have to be concerned getting into the rest of the schedule if he continues to get hit that often.
- Before the season started I wasn't sure that LaDarius Perkins had the size to be an "every down" back for State, but he really has proved me wrong this season. Perkins had another workman like day today, gaining 105 yards on 24 attempts with a touchdown to go with it. Perkins is having quite a season, with 500 yards and 6 TDs through 5 games.
Although there are negatives to talk about, like State's coverage, ability to handle a running QB, and more, but for now, we will just enjoy the win. Like I said, a win is a win is a win, and that's all that matters in the end. State will now take its first 5-0 start since '99 into a big matchup with Tennessee at home next weekend. Although the Volunteers have had some ups and downs so far this year, make no mistake their offense is the real deal. Looking forward to the big (late) night game next weekend at home, in front of what will hopefully be a great crowd.