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The Numbers Game - Big Plays

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Sept 15, 2012; Troy, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell (17) drops back to pass at Veterans Memorial Stadium against the Troy Trojans. The Bulldogs defeated the Trojans 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

If it seems like State has had a lot of big plays this year, it's because they have. There have been 14 plays of 20 yards or more from scrimmage. Chad Bumphis has had the most (4) as he lit up Troy for all four of them. In that game there were EIGHT plays of 20+ yards. [Sylvester Croom just pooed himself]

MSU is on pace for 61 of these type of plays this year. What's going on in Starkville these days (asks outside observer, "Sidewalk Alabama fan # 34,591)?

In 2011, State was only able to muster 35 twenty-plus yards plays (Ballard led with 7). This group of Bulldogs might hit that before November. 2010 featured 58 of these plays and 2009 had 41. So if the pace MSU is on is any indication of what type of year they will end up having, I like the 2010 comparables.

The offense Mullen has brought to Mississippi State has really increased the big plays. In Croom's Mr. Whineypants' final year (2008), MSU only had 29 plays of 20 or more yards from scrimmage. In 2007's 8-5 season there were only 32 big plays.

Look for some more big play action this week vs. South Alabama.

Note: 20+ yard plays as an official statistic typically include ALL PLAYS that are 20+ yards, inluding kickoff returns, interceptions returns, etc. The above numbers are only for 20+ yard plays from the line of scrimmage; i.e. runs and passes.