We're four games into the season, so that means it's time for some awards...
POT O' CHILI AWARD: Nikoe Whitley, Junior DB - Sometimes a good pot of chili just needs to sit before it reaches it's peak flavor, and the same goes for Whitley this year. We haven't seen the same type of ferocity we expect from him (coming off of an Achilles injury), but we know it's coming.
STORE-BOUGHT POTATO SALAD AWARD: Mississippi State's non-conference performances - Bland, but filling. It's not going to win any awards, but your friends and family will stomach it because it's there and it does the job.
MISSISSIPPI CAVIAR AWARD: Matt Wells, Sophomore LB - This local dip features a whole bunch of ingredients thrown together in a bowl. He's part linebacker, part safety, he rushes the passer, and drops back in coverage. Did I mention that he's really good, too? 11 tackles, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and 3 passes defended.
WASTED UNCLE AWARD: Jameon Lewis, Sophomore WR - Your uncle is funny as hell and the liveliest person at the tailgate, but he wandered off to the Junction John an hour ago and no one has seen him since, which sucks considering he has your ticket to the game. Plus, you were really looking forward to hearing the story about the time he funneled beer with Joe Lee Dunn. Lewis, a play-maker, has only touched the ball nine times on offense this season. We all know he's capable of doing awesome things with the ball in his hands, so it would be nice for him to get more touches and do something special with them.
SURPRISE 12-PACK AWARD: Darius Slay, Senior DB - You kept hearing all week that one of your buddies was going to come hang out at the tent, but you've been fooled before so you didn't bother buying extra beer for him and his roommate. To your surprise he shows up on time and with a 12-pack of Fat Tire. Win-Win. We kept hearing about how good Darius Slay would be all spring. Four interceptions in four games? I'd say he has lived up to the hype and then some.
BLUE TOP TENT AWARD: Tyler Russell's Performance vs South Alabama - Ah, The Junction. A beautiful green space filled with big shade trees, maroon and white tents, grills, and....WAIT...Why is there a big blue tent right next to the center sidewalk? That's how I feel about Tyler's performance against South Alabama. In what has been a stellar season for Russell, the USA game was a poor outing for him. Let's just hope it is one of very few.
DIRECTV HOOK-UP AWARD: Chad Bumphis, Senior WR - 6 pm kickoff? No problem. You won't miss any of the day games because you brought your flat screen and got your DirecTV hooked up at the tent. That's clutch, like Chad Bumphis has been this season. Bumphis caught three touchdowns and 180 yards against Troy. He also grabbed TDs against Jackson St. and Auburn too.
CHICK-FIL- A NUGGET TRAY AWARD: - Johnthan Banks, Senior DB - The nugget tray is a game-changer at any tailgate, and there never seems to be enough of them to go around. Banks has been gobbling up more interceptions in 2012 (3) and now has fifteen picks in his career.
HOT BRATWURST AWARD: LaDarius Perkins, Junior RB - Beer soaked, toasted bun, topped with 'kraut, cheddar cheese, and spicy mustard. That's as good as it gets for me on gameday. Perkins has been pretty awesome this season. He's third in the SEC with 389 rushing yards and has scored a touchdown in every game.