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

A look back at last week’s game at Memphis and a look ahead to Saturday’s game against LSU.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Alabama The Tuscaloosa News-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs are headed into Week 4 and are preparing for a game against the LSU tigers. The Tigers will enter Saturday’s game with a 2-1 record with their lone loss coming against the UCLA Bruins in Week 1.

Since then, the Tigers have won two straight games over McNeese State and Central Michigan. Offensively, the Tigers try to stay balanced by running the ball, but they find little success. LSU has rushed the ball 85 times for 257 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers rank 13th out of 14 Southeastern Conference teams in rushing, just ahead of Mississippi State.

The passing game is where LSU has found most of its success. Quarterback Max Johnson, who has passed for 864 yards, 11 TDs and two interceptions on 108 attempts. So, I would expect the Tigers to attack MSU’s secondary, which has been prone to give up a big play or two already.

Speaking of big plays, let’s talk Hail State football with, “The Good, the bad and the Ugly!”


Mississippi State played a good game against Memphis. The Bulldogs outgained Memphis 468 total yards to the Tigers’ 246.

The Bulldogs moved the ball fairly well and extended their drives, for the most part, with 26 first downs on the night compared to 12 by Memphis. In all aspects of the game, the Bulldogs were better, and that is what Mississippi State needs to take away from this game. The Bulldogs won the game on the field, but they lost the game on the scoreboard. The bottom line is that, in Division I football, it is hard to win game if your opponent is gifted 17 points.

Just to make sure we are all on the same page, I will explain the 17 points in a nutshell. It all began one early Christmas morning in September when a fumbled occurred in the first quarter on the first drive, allowing Memphis to return 49 yards for seven early points. In the third quarter with much time to play, the Pirate Santa, with much pride and greed, went for it on fourth-and-2 and let three points just fly away. The game was close, but State was still surely to win until the SEC refs came in for their pay day and allowed an already-downed football to run for an easy seven points I’d say.

The BAD!!

The bad is how nobody on God’s green earth can seem to understand the damn Air Raid offense. At times, the offense can carry a solid drive down the field and look very efficient while doing it. Then, the offense will basically cease to exist where it can’t get a first down and has no run game. And every pass is basically a lateral or just beyond the line of scrimmage.

It is times like these when everyone, even MSU’s head coach, is ready to fire Mike Leach. But hail no from the ashes, and out of nowhere the Bulldogs suddenly score as if they were playing a powder puff football team.

In Week 1 against La Tech, the Bulldogs scored three times in less than eight minutes for a comeback win. Against North Carolina State, the Bulldogs led almost the entire game and MSU’s drives took time off the clock going through multiple plays each time. But then against Memphis when the Bulldogs had to get things going, the Bulldogs were suddenly able to have two quick scoring drives, one was six plays for 57 yards and a touchdown, and the other was a two-play, 65-yard touchdown with only 30 seconds left to play, which was pretty much too little too late.

So, could someone please explain why the Bulldogs are able to score at will when they must, but not when the game isn’t on the line? Because if MSU’s offense can have successful drives whenever it wants, well, that would be nice.

The Ugly

Everyone knows what I am about to say. Yes, the punt return for a TD after the play had been called dead by one of the referees.

Yet, my biggest question is how is the world did our coach say that he did not see the referee call the play dead? What in the world was he watching? I know he wasn’t going through his extensive offensive playbook because it’s like a piece of paper folded in half. How did he not see that, but even more importantly, were any of the coaches watching what the hell was going on? Things that make you go hmmm.

This week’s game will come down to one thing, and that is which team executes on offense. The Bulldogs have the better defense by far, so State should win this one, but it won’t be easy.

Prediction Week 4:

Mississippi State: 28

LSU: 24