I’m not sure how to put this, so I am going to throw it out there, if we lose to Arkansas this weekend, Mississippi State will not get a bowl game for sure. The bad thing about what I just said is, I don’t know if we can win based on our last three performances as a point of reference. I am starting to get worried about this program and the direction it is moving at an alarming rate, I must add.
We are currently in a situation where you hope John Cohen has a plan and is currently monitoring every aspect of this inconvenient situation. But then I look back at the most recent list of hires, and I don’t get any warm and fuzzy feelings about that departure either. I am beginning to believe we have a runaway train here in Mississippi State, and the tracks can only go so far before the whole thing derails.
Arkansas is looking to win its first SEC contest in nearly two years this weekend, and I must admit this will be their best opportunity to do it. This team is struggling, and our coaching staff seems to be scratching their heads on how to correct some significant issues. I sure hope for the sake of the team and this program that we can go on the road and get a must needed win against those Razorbacks. If we take another loss this weekend, I genuinely believe that a coaching change is a foregone conclusion here is Starkville.
With that being said, Let’s Talk Mississippi State Football (the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of week nine - Texas A&M)
Kylin Hill. For the first time in week’s Hill found running room up the middle and on the edges. Kylin ran for 150 yards on 21 attempts averaging 7.1 yards per carry. The one thing I noticed was Hill picked a hole and ran and stopped all the dancing around we have seen in past weeks, which was a good thing. I believe he could have another big day this coming weekend against a susceptible run defense in Arkansas.
How about scoring 30 points; Putting up thirty points against any team in the SEC is a good day. The offense is still a nightmare to watch by any means, but they did find the end zone a few times last Saturday. Shrader still needs to catch-up with the speed of division one football but has shown he can handle the reigns of this team.
Too many dropped passes; we need our receivers to help out Garrett Shrader in the passing game, who is taking a beating by the way on just about every play. Yes, some of the passes are off target, but if you can put both hands on it, you need to bring it in. Osirus Mitchell had a bad day, but that’s football, so far he has been our top receiver, and I’m sure he will be back to form this weekend.
Offensive game plan. Yes, we moved the ball and scored 30 points, but we struggled to put consistent drives together all day. We would come out and run three or four plays in a role for five or more yards and then stall. I believe one of the things that seem to get us stuck is passing on first downs or the failure to complete those passes. Our offensive line cannot handle heavy pressure, so when we become predictable, we are in trouble.
The defense. I remember when Shoop was hired, and there was a lot of talk about how his defense might fail just as the Tennessee Defense did under his control. Most believed that it was more about Butch Jones’s failures as a head coach that created all the issues to include the defense. I am starting to think that we need to stop blaming Jones and look at what is happening here at Mississippi State under Shoop’s control.
This defense has multiple issues in all phases of the game. What worries me is that everyone is so quick to say it is because of injuries and losses to the NFL. No, No, No, this is fundamental issues, and I mean the basics of football fundamentals. I hate to say it, but anyone that wants to say it is lack of experience need to watch an Alabama game; they have six true freshmen starting on defense, that’s right six guys that were playing high school football last year. I believe this team has some cultural issues, along with some lack of discipline issues as well.
Tackling by everyone. This team takes the prize for avoiding contact. I mean, what the heck is up with everyone focusing more on trying to knock the ball out, rather than just tacking the damn ball carrier. We, as a team, gave up at least 100 yards against the Aggie’s trying to create a fumble. How about we do it the old way “KNOCK THE DAMN THING LOOSE.”
It is time for this coaching staff to show why they are here and why we as a fan base should want them here for another year. If we carry this over into the 2020 season with no positive results, it will take years to rebuild this program to where it was when Mullen left just two seasons ago. I, for one, don’t want to go back to being the floor mat of the SEC West, and nobody else should either. Currently, this season is sending us in that direction, and I mean fast. We need results, and I mean NOW.
HAIL STATE AND GO DAWGS.