Holy cow herd, State fans, it looks like the Bulldogs found that win they have been searching for since mid-September. Just when I thought finding last year’s Easter eggs would be easier to locate, we just slap the taste off Arkansas’ mouth in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Yes, this was a much needed win and an opportunity for the coaches to breathe a sigh of relief — at least until Alabama comes to town. That’s right Bulldog fans, the SEC West is a gift that keeps on giving. You thought that was daylight at the end of the tunnel but it’s not. It’s actually a freight train headed straight for us with Nick Saban blowing the horn and waving to everyone like driving a float in a parade.
Alabama is currently undefeated heading into what could possibly be the biggest game of the year outside of the National Championship this coming weekend. I for one believe that the winner of this matchup between No. 1 LSU (8-0) and No. 2 Alabama (8-0) will play for the National Championship. It would not surprise me if the two teams see each other again in the National Championship with the way things are going around the league. Either way, I sure hope this game takes a toll on the Crimson Tide and at least gives us a chance to stay within, let’s say, 28 points.
With that being said, Let’s Talk Mississippi State Football, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Week 10 versus Arkansas.
The Run Game:
Seriously, running for a combined 463 yards is unbelievable, even if it was against the struggling defense of Arkansas. If you don’t already know, this set a record for the most rushing yards against a Southeastern Conference opponent in Mississippi State history. Kylin Hill lead the push with 234 yards on 21 carries, followed by Nick Gibson gaining 129 on 12 carries. Both running backs averaged over 10 yards per carry. Others that contributed to the record-setting day include Lee Witherspoon with 24 yards, Malik Dear with four and Tommy Stevens with 74.
And how about Tommy Stevens? I must admit I was shocked that he took a hit and got up without any assistance or a limp. He proved me wrong Saturday because I thought wet toilet paper was tougher than this kid. I stand corrected. Major props to Stevens, you showed the toughness needed to play on this team as the quarterback.
Stevens went 12-of-18 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The most impressive stat to me was how he distributed the ball by throwing completions to 10 different receivers. “Hail State!”
Going on the road and getting a big win;
The Bulldogs needed this win almost as bad as head coach Joe Moorhead needed this win. This game showed that against average defenses this offense can excel and strike fast fairly easily. Unfortunately for this coaching staff, the SEC, for the most part, has above-average defenses and we need to be able to score on those as well. All in all, this was a great day for the team and the coaches. This was a positive step toward maintaining our bowl-streak in 2019.
During the Texas A&M game, the commentators showed the defense using chairs to demonstrate the Aggies’ offensive formations. I thought that was a pretty good coaching strategy to help the players visualize the learning objective. Now after watching both games, I think they should have just put the damn chairs all over the practice field and told the defense to tackle them. I bet several of the chairs would have escaped and scored in the process.
Obviously this does not pertain to every player on the defensive side of the ball, just those that only want to punch the ball out on every play — or those that seem to avoid any form of contact at all.
Punt and kick-off returns;
We need to stop with the dropped punt returns that just hand the ball back to the other team. Every time this happens to a good team, they score. Also, could someone please add up all the kickoff returns this year that were carried out and see what the average starting yardage is? I bet it is far short of the 25 yard-line. If that’s the case. just fair catch the ball moving forward unless it is already beyond that point. Still fair catch It!
Never guarantee a win:
Arkansas head football coach Chad Morris told the media that Arkansas was going to win Saturday. I mean, his hot seat is currently melting by the day and he goes out and calls the shot like Babe Ruth? The only problem was that they not only lost, but lost big. This my friends is considered an ugly moment, and I hate it for coach Morris because he seems like a good guy. By the way, I seem to remember a moment similar in nature that revolved around ring sizes and making space on the mantle. Hmmmmm???????? Ugly.
HAIL STATE AND GO DAWGS!