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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Week 11: Alabama

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The Road Dawgs were shut-out in Tuscaloosa and we take a look at the Good, Bad, and Ugly of this past Saturday.

Mississippi State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Let’s Talk Hail State

Hello Bulldogs fans, week eleven is in the books and again the Mississippi State football program leaves us all scratching our heads. I mean is it really possible for a team to have such a dominant defense while at the same time showing little to no results on the offensive side of the ball? Well the answer would be a big Hail Yea! In this week’s addition of the GBU, we will discuss the Bama game of course, and a few hot topics to include our coach, the offense, and some post game activities.

I would also like to address a few things concerning last week’s opponent, and the wonderful officiating for our glorious SEC crew. Mississippi State’s best case scenario moving forward is to win out with two games remaining against Arkansas and Ole Miss to hopefully get a late December bowl game in either Florida or Texas. My prediction is we get either the Taxslayer or Outback Bowl against either Michigan State or, my wish, Penn State. Either way, we must win out and secure the third place finish in the SEC West to get either selection. So with that being said, LETS TALK HAIL STATE; the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY.

The GOOD:

Once again our defense stole the show against Alabama holding them to a season low in both points scored and yards gained. After a slow start in which the Bulldogs yielded 21 points in the first half, they only allowed three in the last two quarters while also snuffing out a last minute ditch at trying to score in the fourth quarter with the game already secured by Bama. Yep, The Tide needed more points to show the CFC, but the Bulldogs denied them on four straight runs inside the three yard line. So Stick It BAMA!

I also want to give a shout out to Bob Shoops, for a great job making in game adjustments after the first two drives. The Bama offense struggled to move the ball effectively on the ground the rest of the game, and never did have any positive momentum with the passing game. Hail State!

Our short passing game was productive against the Tides defense and Fitzgerald went 11 for 20 for 125 yards, again not great but productive. Against a defense like Alabama it is essential that you be able to maintain some sort of passing game and State did that with the short passes. The rest of the offense did not produce near as much.

It would not be fair if I did not give credit to our two lead backs; Kylin Hill and Aeris Williams, who combined for 75 yards on 14 carries. That is an average of 5.3 yards per carry and also against Alabama. But wait, we ran all over them last year so this should not be a shocker, Right? Instead the only thing that limited our backs was the game plan. Good thing we had Nick Fitzgerald helping out in the backfield this weekend, as he always adds a boost to the run game. “Oops! Moving on to the Bad”

The BAD:

Have you ever been shopping and you have so many choices and don’t know what to pick? Well that describes this week’s bad. Way too many choices.

I will start with this question, what does Moorhead have against a productive run game, and why does he think that his quarterback should run 50% of the time? As stated above our running backs had a combined 14 carries for 75 yards but our quarterback had 14 carries for a negative 23 yards. What the Hell Dude!!!! Yes I know that this is a RPO system and he runs based on the reads, but I have to say when you are pulling guards and tackles away from the run. it is a designed QB run. Also if he is holding the ball too much them someone needs to remind him that he can hand it off every now and then, but I don’t think he is making all of those decisions on his own. Wink-Wink-Thumbs-Up!

Another thing that just jumps out is that we have way too many pass plays that take too long to develop; this line cannot hold the block that long especially against Alabama. Did we even watch last year’s game film? The key to beating Bama is keeping their offense off the field and a passing game that is sitting under 50% completion for the year is not the way to do that. Our run game is dependable and is totally underutilized this year. TOTALLY! Please get the running backs more involved with more touches. The coach better have a back-up plan with regards to running Nick, because we face the Black Shark Land Bears in two weeks and they will be gunning for him just like last year. Fact!

Again, do I need to mention that we were playing Alabama Saturday? This is the current number one team money country. I mean the only difference between them and the NFL is the NFL has a salary cap. Saturday night they had 19 players on the field the entire game on both offense and defense, which include the ref’s of course, but do I really need to explain what I am talking about. Well, I will for the TSUN readers down in the Ugly. So Pay Attention!

The UGLY:

This is simple; there are two big things that had a major impact in this game. The first was the terrible officiating throughout the entire game and second our coach not calling a time out after a possible fumble that would have given us the football on the first drive of the game. Terrible!

The biggest problem I have with the officiating Saturday was loss of momentum. Stopping the number one offense in the country on the opening drive in their house on their 30 yard line is a major momentum change moment. Momentum is critical for any chance to beat the number one team in the country in their house in front of their fans. Mississippi State was robbed of that momentum in the first two minutes of the game. BOTTOM LINE!

The lack of a review in the first drive of the game set the tone, and the presence of a shady day in Tuscaloosa. As we all know those first two drives pretty much put the Bulldogs in a hole that would be nearly impossible to crawl out of. Yet late in the second quarter, down 21, the bulldogs put together the best drive of the day resulting in a touchdown that was negated by a totally phantom call. Everyone has heard that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Well that’s hard to do when life is jamming them down your throat. It felt like no matter what we did the officials were not going to let Mississippi State score and we never did. P.S. I would like to know who was reviewing this play for State up in the booth because they need an eye exam and a CAT scan. Seriously!

The worst part of the whole damn thing is watching and hearing every sport network continue to say that Bama had its second straight week with a shut-out. Also listening to SEC Now, and Gene Chizik as he brags on Alabama because they had zero penalties in the game and how disciplined they are on both sides of the ball. Total Bullshit Meatball!

Lastly, I would like to discuss the after game activities that were all over the internet. I watched the video and saw there were some strong emotions being displayed by players of both teams. But what I want to point out is how the Alabama coach acted when he addressed the situation by calling the Mississippi State players F--- A----- over and over again. Maybe this is what Chizik was talking about when he was bragging about the discipline of the Alabama football program; it must be due to their professional couching staff. Classy Coach Just Classy!

I must say that at this point in the season I still have not wrapped my head around our coach’s offensive style. I have stated many times throughout this season that the Big Ten and the SEC are very different animals. Our defense surely understands this. Now it is time for the offense to get on board and play SEC west football, which is trench-line warfare, which is exactly what we were designed to do. Just Saying!

HAIL STATE!