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Mississippi State football: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly vs. LSU

Can the Bulldogs get back on track on the road at Kyle Field?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Well, Week 5 is quickly approaching as the Bulldogs hit the road and head west for this week’s matchup against the Texas A&M Aggies. As we have already seen, and as we shall discuss in more detail later on, the Bulldogs have yet to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

But luckily for all State fans, neither have the Aggies. So far this year the Aggies have had a hard time putting anything positive on the field when it comes to their offense and a clear fix to the issue is nowhere in sight.

To start, the passing game has been less that desirable with starting quarterback Zack Calzada, who has a pass completion percentage of just 53% and has only thrown for 609 yards on the season with four Touchdowns.

To make things worse, Calzada has thrown three interceptions in that same time frame. On the other hand, the Aggies have shown the ability to run the ball. They put up 121 yards rushing and one touchdown against Arkansas’ stout defense last week.

Defensively, the Aggies have shown to be pretty solid and tend to hold their opponents to low scoring games. I believe this game will come down to whoever plays the best on defense, which should lean in Mississippi State’s favor (fingers crossed).

So, with that, let’s talk Hail State football with, “The Good, the bad and the Ugly!”

The GOOD!

After two straight losses against opponents the Bulldogs should have beaten, it is hard to come up with a whole lot of positives, but here we go.

First, the offense is putting points on the board. Compared to last season, outside of the 2020 LSU score-a-thon, State struggled to put any points on the board and had several games with no points at all. This season, the Bulldogs have had several encouraging drives and have moved the ball at times with ease.

The defense has been, for the most part, impressive. And at times, it seems like no team can sustain a drive against them. But other times, I wonder what the hell were they doing? That leads me to the bad.

The BAD!

Being inconsistent! I truly cannot figure this offense out, and it is clear there is a serious issue with how it is being run. I’m not sure where the problem lies, but I am pretty sure it comes down to either Mike Leach’s play-calling or Will Rogers’ ability to run the Air Raid offense.

I say this because it has become very evident that in all four games played this season, the offense is much more effective in the fourth quarter than the other three. So, which is it? is it play-calling, is it Rogers’ ability to see the field and react fast enough to pull the trigger as needed? In my opinion, it is maybe both.

First, why is it Mississippi State always hires a coach that wants to be the play-caller? Think back to Danny Boy Mullen, then so slow Joe Mo and now Leach. Now, I’m not saying that coaches can’t be play-callers. I’m just saying that head coaches shouldn’t be play-callers because if the head coach is the offensive coordinator than he can’t be the head coach. Period.

Head coaches manage the game and the team, while offensive coordinators mange the offense and defensive coordinators manage the defense. So, how it is possible that the head coach can run the offense while managing the team and the defense at the same time?!?!?

This is where issues like not seeing the referee call the play dead (Memphis punt return) or how Mullen seems to always make two or three major mistakes per season that cost him a win or two. And as for Moorhead, do I really need to say anything? As for Rogers, well, this is simple. Anyone watching the game can see that the Bulldogs had receivers wide open on just about every play. Rogers, for the most part, doesn’t see the field and has too check down way too often. Keep your eyes open this week and let me know what you see and share it.

The Ugly

This was easy. How about those blown coverages? Hey, wining in the Southeastern Conference is tough, but those players were flat out embarrassing to watch.

Mississippi State’s defense is very talented, and I believe it has some true NFL talent on all three phases of the defense, yet the Bulldogs got caught flat-footed numerous times this past week.

I have to say something, because I truly believe it, defensive coordinator Zach Arnett got outcoached in that second half this past Saturday and you could see how he became very hesitant and conservative on his blitzes for which his defense’s live by.

This week’s prediction is based on defense. Last week, I picked the Bulldogs to win because they had the better defense, and they laid an egg and lost. I see the Bulldogs having a much better game on defense and getting back on track on the road.

Prediction Week 5:

Mississippi State: 24

Texas A&M: 17

Please hare your comments and tell me how you feel on these issues.

GOD BLESS, HAIL STATE and GO DAWGS!!!