Thoughts on the Memphis Game

Memphis was horrible, as expected, but State took care of business and even capitalized on it by setting a school record with 645 yards of offense. Memphis isn’t a measuring stick by any means, but the fact is, MSU did exactly what they were supposed to do by crushing an inferior team…and that is something new and exciting to the program.

You could see the maturation of Chris Relf as a passer, and a leader. I know he was basically throwing against air, but he looked like a more polished passer and you could see the confidence he had as a returning senior.

There were plenty of big plays last night, yet Chad Bumphis only had one catch, and LaDarius Perkins had 3 carries for 5 yards. Those are two of State’s biggest play-makers but it was Vick Ballard and Jameon Lewis providing most of the show. State has plenty of talent this year at the skill positions, and as long as they can execute behind Chris Relf’s senior leadership we should be fine.

Lewis was obviously the breakout player with 29 yards rushing on 2 attempts and 113 yards receiving, but of course, he made several mistakes as a return man. Will Mullen put him back out there as a kick returner against Auburn? He has the big-play ability, but as a freshman a mistake like the ones he made last night could sting quite a bit more.

Fletcher Cox was not missed at all, and hopefully he will have plenty of motivation to take to Auburn next week since the start of his season was delayed. Kaleb Eulls and Deontae Skinner were all over the place, and plenty of young players were able to get their feet wet on defense.

State was able to win this game without giving much of anything for the Auburn coaches to prepare for. The offense and defense was very vanilla, it was just a manhandling of poor Memphis. The cornerbacks played off the wide outs pretty much the entire game, I don’t think you’ll see that next week. LaDarius Perkins was MIA, but I have a feeling Mullen wants to unleash his speed against Auburn too…same to be said for Chad Bumphis. The only new wrinkle was the few times MSU played hurry-up on offense and used the Oregon-style flash cards to call some plays. Should be interesting to see where that goes this year.

This was a solid win. Sure, there were some penalties and mental mistakes. But those can be cleaned up in practice and State should be able to put forth a solid game at Auburn next week. It was a little nerve-racking before the game because of all the expectations–wondering if the team was still as good as when we last saw them, but it sure is a relief to see State play well and beat up on a team like that.

Interesting facts:
Chris Relf is now 8th on the all-time MSU list for passing TDs with 20.
Chad Bumphis is now 8th on the all-time MSU list for receiving TDs with 10.
17 points in the first quarter was the most since 1990.
23 Bulldogs made their playing debut last night.

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