Stock to Buy
D-Fence -- I went into Saturday night's game expecting to probably lose by four touchdowns and give up tons of yardage, but I was pleasantly surprised by what the MSU D brought to the table against Alabama. They did give up 383 yards in the end, but the defense forced four turnovers -- two fumbles and two interceptions by AJ McCarron, who well never throws interceptions. The MSU offense was never able to do much with the created turnovers expect for one on the one scoring drive, but still, hats off to the D. They were on the field a lot Saturday, and a young, young defensive unit turned in an impressive show. That front seven is going to be lethal in 2014.
The a capella national anthem -- Beautiful
Traveling Alabama fans -- There have been years when Alabama comes to town and I just want to yell this outside the stadium for two hours, but I was impressed with the contingency of Alabama fans in town this weekend. Most that I spoke with were very nice, and although there was plenty of houndstooth, I didn't see a bunch of weird homemade houndstooth overalls with the Bear's picture on the back, and that was a plus. And, at least from what I saw, there wasn't an overabundance of obnoxiousness heading out after the game.
Stock to Sell
Being Dak-less -- I knew that missing Dak would hurt, but before the game I thought we were so outnumbered that it really wouldn't matter. Looking back now, oh man how I wish Dak would have been healthy and playing against the Tide. His playing doesn't guarantee a win, but it guarantees that things move more smoothly on offense, and that MSU has more of a chance to take the Tide down. Tyler Russell was able to do somethings, but for the most part, the offense just looks labor intensive, and waaay to long developing on every play. That's not Tyler's fault -- they apparently refuse to adjust playcalling to fit his style, and have done so for 1.5 years -- but that doesn't make it any easier. I think State can still take down Arkansas with Tyler at the helm even if they just want to run the ball 40 times, but to beat Ole Miss, it may take getting Dak back.
The Jumbotron -- Our friend Croom Diaries has been one of the most vocal figures spearheading a needed change in MSU's use of its gigantic video board, and after Saturday night, the administration admitted that he was right. The video board was one ad after the other, strung together between poorly timed promotions, and little to no music to pump the crowd up. I saw someone say this, and I agree: although it was painful to have it happen with Alabama in town and on a national stage, it was good that it did so we can finally bring it to light and get something done about it. Not sure how much Stricklin and company can fix before the season home finale in two weeks, but I expect things to be much better for next year's home opener at a newly expanded Davis Wade, where TWO giant video boards will be on display.
The kicking game....