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Mississippi State Football: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Week 1

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Let’s look at Week 1.

Mississippi State v LSU Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Just a few months ago, everyone was wondering if we would even have a season, buthere we are getting ready to host the Arkansas Razorbacks in Week 2 of the 2020 season.

Arkansas had a pretty good first half against the Georgia Bulldogs last week. However, transfer quarterback Feleipe Franks had a not so good start to the season as he threw for 200 yards and one touchdown while also throwing two interceptions. I believe he will try and improve on his numbers against Mississippi State this weekend (wink, wink).

The Razorbacks’ run game didn’t fare much better as they totaled just 108 yards on 28 attempts with no touchdowns. But don’t be fooled, this team has talent. And with one game in the books, I am sure they will be ready to fight Saturday at Davis Wade in Starkville.

My first key matchup for this game is our defensive front against Arkansas’ offense line, Franks spent a lot of time avoiding the rush against a Georgia defense that secured three sacks in the contest.

My second key matchup is our receivers against Arkansas’ defensive backfield, Georgia had issues with its starting quarterback in the first half, which limited the Bulldogs’ passing yardage. However, the Bulldogs still put up nearly 200 passing yards in the second half alone while jogging to a fairly easy 37-10 victory in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

With that being said, let’s talk Hail State football with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly against LSU.

The GOOD!

I must say there is a lot to talk about in the ‘good’ section, and it all starts with graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello. It must be nice to transfer to a new school and break the Southeastern Conference passing yards record (623) in your first game wearing marron and white. Oh, and he tossed five touchdowns too, If that is not impressive enough, how about doing it against the sixth-ranked defending national champion LSU Tigers? No, Costello did not have a perfect game, but he still put every defense in the SEC on alert. My biggest observation of Costello was his ability to stay focused and unfazed after turning the ball over four times.

In last week’s edition of the GBU, I spoke about my concerns for our defense using the 3-3-5 defense in the SEC. I wondered if defensive coordinator Zach Arnett was prepared to run a defense in this conference. Well, the answer to that question was HAIL YEAH! This defense made me think of the 2014 squad that made the goal-line stand in the third quarter. I also want to say that Fred Peters was honoring Jonathan Abram with the No. 38 because if you going to wear that number in Mississippi State’s defensive back field, you got to drop the hammer. All I can say is, God bless you, Fred Peters.

I Also hope those who wonder who Costello will be throwing the ball to got answered Saturday because I saw 10 receivers make catches and three of them breaking the 100-yard mark. Osirus Mitchell led the way with 183 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Kylin Hill had 158 yards receiving and one touchdown and JaVonta Payton had 122 yards on the day. I mean, it looked like the only guy that didn’t secure a Costello pass was Costello himself. I am patently waiting for that to happen.

All in all, this was a great win against a great team. And even though there were several mistakes, this was a great way to kick off the 2020 season for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The BAD!!

I am not going to go to deep into the ‘bad’ simply because it was the first game of the season and mistakes are going to happen. So in short, we had four turnovers that ende dup being 17 points, which is, pretty bad.

Our defensive backfield played a very good game, but I am sure they will get some special attention on some of the coverage mistakes made during the game. Some could have been really bad.

I also have to say that I wish we would have used the clock a little more in the fourth quarter when we took the lead for the final time. I mean, could we at least let the clock count down in the single digits before we snap the ball? We were executing plays like we were in the hurry-up offense in the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead. Just throwing that out there to see if it sticks.

The Ugly

I will tell you what was bad, K.J. Costello not getting a helmet sticker from the SEC Nation show. I mean, who the hell else broke three SEC records in their first start in the SEC against the reigning national champions? cricket.....cricket.... That’s right, NOBODY!!

Let me know what you think.

HAIL STATE and Go Dawgs!!!