The 2014 season opener was a dandy on Saturday night, as Mississippi State blasted Southern Miss by a final score of 49-0. While it wasn't all positive, there's not many negatives you can harp on after a 49 point victory (even though we will just for a true evaluation). Let's look at five things we took away from this game and can expect going forward. Keep in mind that it's only one game, and we'll know more about this team in a few weeks. These are subject to change.
1. Geoff Collins' "psycho defense" is no fluke
The defense put on a show Saturday night, showing complete domination at the line of scrimmage and forcing three turnovers. It was clear from the beginning that the biggest mismatch on the field was the Golden Eagle offense vs the Mississippi State defense. The buzzards mustered just 283 yards of total offense including 71 on the ground. Defensive end Preston Smith and safety Jay Hughes each registered interceptions on the night. Defensive end A.J. Jefferson recovered a fumble. Coach Collins constantly preaches to "get the ball" and his players came through for him in game one. The stat they'll be proud of the most is the zero on the scoreboard at the end of the game. The defense has only given up one touchdown in its last 12 quarters of football, dating back to the Egg Bowl.
2. The offensive line still has some work to do
There were some early jitters from the unit in their first game. After an opening nine play, 87 yard touchdown drive, the remainder of the first quarter was a bit shaky. Prescott was under duress more times than not and didn't have enough time to throw the football. The Golden Eagles were able to get to the Bulldog quarterback three times on the night. The good news is that the offensive line got back on track for the most part after that first quarter and finished out the game strong. They will need to continue to improve going forward, as going up against any SEC defensive line will be a different monster.
3. Josh Robinson is the every down back that MSU needs
The bowling ball was pretty impressive. There's not much else you can say. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry and led the team with 136 all-purpose yards. It's easy to see why he's number one on the depth chart, and that won't change unless he gets injured. Not only was he a monster for the Golden Eagles to tackle, but he was a beast in the passing game as well. He hauled in three passes for 49 yards and proved he can provide Dak Prescott with another reliable target. Dak and J-Rob are one of the better rushing tandems the Bulldogs have ever had.
4. The kicking woes continue
The Bulldog kickers were a perfect 7 for 7 on extra points, and Devon Bell did a good job punting the football. But the only thing the fans will remember is the lone field goal attempt from Westin Graves. The kick from 40 yards out sailed wide left, to the groan of many throughout the stadium. The kick wasn't all Graves' fault, however. The snap was low and the hold wasn't great. For now, we'll chalk it up as that. But if the kicking game doesn't show improvement, everyone's patience will grow thinner and thinner. A field goal here or there could be the difference in a bigtime SEC game later in the season.
5. MSU will not show their full hand until the LSU game
As expected, the Bulldogs didn't dig very deep into the playbook for the first game. They don't want to give LSU much to see on film, and why would they? There's no need to show your full deck of cards in a game you know you're likely to win anyway. There weren't a ton of designed runs for Dak Prescott, something that you'll see a lot more as the season progresses. Expect much of what you saw on Saturday night to be the case in the next two games. When the LSU game rolls around, that's when we will see the full potential of what this offense can be.