Saturday was a nice relaxing day of college football. No nerves from the recliner as Mississippi State began play because they were in their recliners as well. And if they were scouting out the next three opponents, they saw some teams that they won't be able to 'just show up' for to win.
Middle Tennessee started off the day at Georgia Tech. They hung in toe-to-to with the Yellow Jackets and then blew them away in the 4th quarter, winning 49-28. They are yet another Sun Belt team making waves and are now 3-1 this year. Obviously this proves MSU can't take the Blue Raiders lightly. This game serves as a classic trap game as it is sandwiched between Tennessee and Alabama.
In the mid-day slot we got to see Tennessee play. I didn't think the close score was really indicative of the difference between them and UGA. In the first half they benefited from a pick-6, then scored on drives of 50, 8 and 18 yards. They did move the ball pretty good in the 2nd half without the benefit of Georgia turnovers though, and they were in the game until the end, only losing 51-44, on the road vs. the #5 team in the country.
Then at night Kentucky stormed South Carolina for a 17-7 halftime lead. They even had the ball inside the red zone right before the half but came away with nothing after some poor clock management. In the 2nd half, USC physically dominated UK and ran it down their throat. But the moral of the story is: don't sleep on the Wildcats or they'll actually score and give you a scare. Max Smith got hurt and they used a freshman QB, but he looked pretty good considering.
Hopefully the MSU players have seen just what these next three opponents can do. Even though two of them came away with losses, they aren't going to be pushovers just because we are favored. With so many folks talking about 7-0, and the sleepwalking that occurred the previous two games, State will need to find a way to focus on the task at hand and take each game with the seriousness it deserves.