It may have taken 1.5 quarters, but the REAL MISSISSIPPI ST. finally stood up and showed the domination that we witnessed early on in the season against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. Mississippi State used their formula of dominant run game, great special teams, and aggressive defensive to will Kentucky into submission by the end of the 3 rd quarter; we then proceeded to show them why we MSU fans do enjoy coming to Starkville. Let’s take a look:
Nick Fitzgerald continues to punish safeties and linebackers that take poor angles to try and tackle him when he gets to the next level. His Forest Gump like running ability is fun to watch, and while he is still leaving sprinkles of doubt passing the ball, I will not complain too hard about a zero turnover game.
Speaking of the QB position, do we have a QB controversy????? No. That being said, after a game like Keytaon Thompson had on Saturday with 2 rushing touchdowns, Thompson will be taking a lot of positives into the spring and don’t be surprised to see him push Fitz to the limit. Sidenote: Any fan that sees this as a bad opinion should realize competition is a good thing and iron sharpens iron. Fitz can get better from competition or a rising star in Thompson could take the reins next year. All good things for MSU.
I love Kylin Hill and how hard he runs the ball.
Our WR made some catches. They dropped some balls but for the most part, considering how they have been this year, had a solid day with Donald Gray, Gabe Myles, and Jordan Thomas helping out Fitz a good bit.
Montez Sweat is really starting to develop into a legit sack threat that could blow up this last part of the season. His 1.5 sacks and 2.5 TFL on Saturday were very impressive, and more importantly it allowed Grantham to mix up blitz packages to generate heat from multiple angles. Sweat and Simmons can make our 3rd down defense scary for opposing teams. WHY COULDN’T CHAUNCEY RIVERS BE CLEARED.
Mark McLaurin is the carbon remake of Charles Mitchell and I cannot praise him enough. Pinebelt Pride over here.
Our LB corp is looking great and bright for the future. We know what we have in Leo Lewis but Willie Gay Jr. and Erroll Thompson, both freshman, are making noise to see more of the field going forward.
Logan Cooke and Jace Christmann have given MSU fans a sense of comfort at special teams that we have not experienced in a long, long, long time and I personally thank each of them for that. Keep it up boys.
Not a ton of bad to look at in a 30+ point win, but if there is any, it might be in that 1st quarter and a half. The Dawgs came out flat again. After a 1st possession TD, the next few possessions were riddled with dropped passes, missed blocks, and drive killing penalties. We have already seen this year that if we come out flat against good competition we can dig ourselves a hole that we struggle to escape. Dan needs to address this issue fast as Texas A&M is a fast paced offense who can build a lead quickly if we are lethargic early on again.
I struggled to come up with an ugly this week, but after a phone call with a good friend of mine, he brought to my attention a very good point. What happened to Jamal Peters? He is currently rotating in about middle of the 1st quarter of each game, not currently a starter. Remember his Egg Bowl performance last year when he shut down AJ Brown and many were seeing this as his coming out party as the next dominant corner in the line of Smoot, Banks, and Slay?
Well he currently has 13 tackles on the year, no pass break ups, and no interceptions. My friend made the argument and I agree that he is arguably one of the top 10 athletes on this team and yet is only playing about 30% of defensive snaps, as a junior. WOOF.
Maybe he can catch fire again down the stretch and set himself up for a great senior campaign but the clock is ticking and new recruits arrive each year with strong desire to see the field as early as possible. Of course, maybe he will just be an Egg Bowl hero and shut down AJ Brown again this year. Time will tell, but if you ask me, the time is now Peters.
We have A&M this week in a game that if we win we are likely back in the top 25 and smelling a 9 win year not many people predicted back in July. Focus and energy are what is required to win games on the road in the SEC. We have laid two eggs this year on the road so Dan should have plenty of bad memories to pull on this week to get the team ready. Stay hungry and bring on the Aggies.