Peeps, I'm warning you now: WMD is pissed. I'm not pulling any punches today. If you're uncomfortable with strong criticism, I urge you to stop here. That game was a slap in the face and a punch in the gut, to borrow from a now former MSU coach. Here's what I saw:
1. I'm not even going to bother with stats. They're almost irrelevant to what I saw last night. Northern Miss absolutely whipped us physically. They gave Walton, Judd, and Wilkins big holes to run through. Then Wilkins and Judd absolutely trucked our guys in the open field.
2. DL got whipped. They generated some pressure, but just never made the big play. Here's a number: 0. The number of sacks we got and turnovers we created. Combined.
3. Northern Miss looked like they could've scored every time they touched the ball. We're lucky they missed two FGs.
4. Tackling was awful. And what really pisses me off is that it's been a recurring problem all season. It's not like it was something new.
5. Kivon Coman might be the best player in America at getting himself in position to make a play then being unable to make the play. It's brutal to watch. He's one of the worst tacklers on the team.
6. Toland Cleveland has no business on an SEC football field. How anyone can watch him and think he's better than Cedric Jiles is completely beyond my comprehension.
7. We didn't play 4 quarters against an SEC team all season. You can't play 2.5 or 3 quarters of good D and expect to beat quality SEC teams. You have to be ready to play from the first play.
8. We had chances to create some turnovers but couldn't capitalize. Jamal Peters made a beautiful play to jump a route, but dropped the ball. Ditto Beni Brown. No one able to jump on the loose ball MGK dropped.
1. Nice to see Westin Graves bounce back and have a good game.
2. Not really much to say here. A solid night overall, but that should be a given.
1. Abysmal isn't a strong enough word. Yes, Dak put up some nice numbers and we put some points on the board. But it was completely irrelevant. We didn't do jack when the game was actually within reach.
2. Dak's fumble was a killer. We took the ball and were marching with ease. Dak coughs it up, the BearSharks jump on it, and the game completely snowballs. His INT was just as bad. No reason to throw that pass into the field of play. Get rid of it, punt, and you're still in it at 14-0. Instead, we're down 21-0 and it's game over.
3. It kills me that Dak didn't get to go out with a win. He's one of the best QBs in SEC history and the best in MSU history. We may never see another like him. But he played poorly, regardless of the numbers. That said, I have nothing bad to say about Dak. He is and will be my favorite Bulldog. He's changed our program.
4. OL is hot garbage. They gave up 7 sacks. S-E-V-E-N. Siete. 7. That's 16 in two games against Bama and Northern Miss. And they can't create jack for the running game. Worst OL we've had in the Mullen Era. You can say injuries or anything else, but it's just an excuse. This group plays with no intensity or edge. They have no mean streak to them at all. And we compound the problem by playing guys out of position. Clayborn needs to be at Guard. Malone at Tackle. Desper was a Center in HS, but I'm supposed to believe he forgot how to snap the ball once he got to campus. The two guys who are really nasty, Jenkins and Calhoun, didn't play much this season. Both should have started. Give me OL who want to knock the hell out of the guy across from them.
This unit was so bad, nothing else mattered. That's just how it is.
5. I'm done talking about RB. And it's not really all their fault with a garbage OL. But this group was completely mismanaged for the second time in three years.
6. Fred Ross had his 4th 100-yard receiving game in a row. He's Dak's security blanket. When in doubt, he tosses it to Ross. Gonna suck losing him to the NFL.
1. Dan Mullen has completely mismanaged this team. He's a risk averse clown who can't win the big one. But what really pisses me off is that he quit on the team. Down 21-0 and he decides to kick a FG. What. The. HELL. If it wasn't already clear enough, the game was over at that point. Dan raised the surrender flag. You aren't getting back into the game by putting 3 on the board in that situation. I can live with going for it and not scoring. I WILL NOT live with a coach who quits on his team in that situation.
We've discussed the mismanagement of RBs ad nauseum, so I won't rehash. But he has completely, utterly failed at recruiting OL and CB. Did you know we haven't had an OL recruited solely by Mullen drafted? Gabe Jackson was the last OL drafted, and he was a Croom holdover. That is piss poor. We're taking and missing on way too many "project" OL. We have GOT to fix the OL and that starts with recruiting.
What pisses me off the most, though, is that we're soft. We got physically handled in our two rivalry games. We used to be known for being a team you didn't like playing because we brought the lumber. You'd be sore for days after playing us, even if you won. Not so anymore. We've become soft and that's on Mullen.
Mullen has also lost all creativity on offense. I swear we only have about 6 plays in the playbook right now: Zone "read," Dak draw, Dak power, swing pass, Slant, Deep Post, Fly, Curl. Fade to Bear in the redzone. The 4th and 1 call with Dak was atrocious. EVERYONE in the stadium knew what was coming. If you're going to be completely obvious, at least put in the damn jumbo package, run power, and give yourself a chance to make it. Going 4 wide and putting Holloway in motion sure isn't going to get the job done. Give your QB an extra TE or two and a lead blocker.
2. Can we all finally accept that Mullen meddles with the D? We've had 5 DCs in 7 years of Mullen, but nothing really changes. Much like The Kang and his OCs, Dan wants things done a certain way. He won't get the hell out of their way and let them run their side of the football. I've had it.
3. John Hevesy has to go. We haven't developed any OL in years. I've already talked about all the guys playing out of position. And have I mentioned this group is soft?
4. Manny Diaz needs to go too. If you can't get your D to play for 4 quarters, you have no business coaching in the SEC.
5. Seem to be a lot of people down on Deshea Townsend. I think he's doing a solid job. As the old saying goes, it's hard to make chicken salad out of chicken crap. When you have Tolando Cleveland in your unit, you're screwed. Calhoun has had a good career and Deshea has to get credit for the development of Redmond. Plus he's one of our top recruiters. We just gotta get him some guys to work with.
6. Mullen seemed completely disinterested and detached after the game. I think he's leaving. We could hear it as early as today, but I'm guessing midweek is more likely. To act like losing to your rival is no big deal really chaps my hide. It is a big f'n deal. We the fans have to live with their fans 365 days a year and put up with their garbage.
It's also a red flag to me the way Mullen has deemphasized the Battle for the Golden Egg the last couple of years. For a guy who came in preaching the importance of beating your rival, that's a major concern. But again, I think he's gone.
I'm also pissed off that we looked totally unprepared for the second year in a row. There is absolutely no excuse for it. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nil. Nada. None. I can understand it happening once. Because frankly, crap happens. But two years in a row? No. Hell no! Like I said in #1, Mullen quit on his team. And it happened way before the game itself. He knows he's gone and didn't give a damn.
Two years in a row we've gotten absolutely skulldrug. Freeze owns Mullen and has completely out recruited him where it matters. We wasted Dak's senior season. Mullen will mismanage his roster every year unless it sets up where he has no choice, like last season. IF Mullen stays, and I think that's far from a given, I want to see a massive staff overhaul. If it were up to me, Hevesy, Diaz, Turner, and Knox would all be gone. Sallach would be moved to an administrative role.
But to be completely frank, I want Mullen to go. He can't get his team ready to execute or play with any fire in big games. Other teams take it to us physically instead of the other way around. I never thought I'd see a day where MSU couldn't run the football, play good D, and was generally soft. I'm sorry, but that's unacceptable for MSU football. And honestly, there is no reason to keep a coach who doesn't want to be here.
Pissed at Mullen,