Yesterday wasn't just about getting to 5-0. It wasn't just about getting another SEC road victory. Yesterday was also about records.
Chad Bumphis, the senior wide receiver from just up the road in Tupelo, Mississippi, caught 9 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown Saturday against the Wildcats of Kentucky, and in the process broke the MSU record for touchdown receptions in a career. Bumphis came into the season tied with David Smith for 6th place all time with 12 TDs, and in the first four games was able to catch 5 TDs to pull into a tie in 1st with bulldog greats Eric Moulds and Justin Jenkins at 17 TD receptions. It is so fitting that Bumphis, after an up and down career in Starkville, would break this record in a final season that has seen him shine, and become the go-to receiver we all knew he could be.
But the record for touchdown receptions may not be Chad's last stop on in the record books before his career at State comes to an end later this year. Let's take a look at some other records he has a shot at:
- Career Pass Receptions - Record Holder: David Smith, 1968-70, 162 receptions. Bumphis started the season in 8th place with 101 receptions, but he's already made quite a move up the list this season. Bumphis, with 21 receptions so far on the year, currently stands in 4th place on the list with 122, just behind Justin Jenkins with 139 receptions. Although it may be tough for Chad to make it to the top of this list - he would need to catch just about 6 passes in each of the remaining games - he still has a really good chance to finish in the top 3, if not take the top spot. The way he's performed this season, the record is certainly in his sights, as he has been Tyler Russell's #1 and most reliable target this season.
- 100 yard receiving games - Record Holder: David Smith, 1968-70, 8. Bumphis started the season with 3 career 100 yard receiving games, but has already this season pushed that number up to 5. Could he conceivably catch Smith? It's possible. A lot of State's remaining games will be against tough defenses. Chad currently shares 3rd place with David Knight and Tony Burks, and should see his name go a bit higher, even if not to the very top.
- Touchdown receptions in a season - Record Holder: Justin Jenkins, 2003, 9. Through five games Bumphis already has 6 TD grabs, which is good for a tie for 7th all time. This record could be the easiest to reach in Bump's sights, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him grab this one at all.
- Receiving yardage, season - Record Holder: Mardye McDoyle, 1978, 1,034. Chad currently has 375 yards through 5 games, so his average per game would have to increase somewhat to break this record. He is currently on pace to finish with 900 yards.
- Yards per catch average, season (minimum 25 receptions) - Record Holder: Danny Knight, 1982, 25.0. Bump is currently hovering around 18 yards per reception so far, so he's going to need a few more deep balls to get that average up to record pace.
Where will Bumphis' place be in the record books once his career is done? Only time will tell. But I have no doubt that fans will remember him as one of the best in MSU history. Because it's not about how you start, or if you have up and down seasons, it's how you finish, and right now, Chad is set to finish up strongly.