Saturday’s game vs. Louisiana Tech was for sure frustrating, but at least State made the key plays towards the end of the game to put that one in the W column instead of the L. As long as performing poorly isn’t going to be a recurring theme, that win is just as good as blowing them out. Hopefully, the team will respond positively to such a close call, knowing they have to work even harder. And hopefully they will never wear black jerseys again.
Is Mississippi State over-rated? After losing a 1st round pick in Derek Sherrod and veteran center J.C. Brignone off last year’s team, should we have expected less? Was Pernell McPhee and 3 senior linebackers, including two NFL draft picks, too much to lose? Well, this is college football and everyone has plenty of turnover. While there has been drop off at LB, and some poorly played downs–especially against Auburn, I don’t think that has hurt us too much. Kaleb Eulls has played well at DE, but he of course isn’t going to match McPhee’s abilities right away. The offensive line has been decimated with injuries. James Carmon has missed the last two and a half games, Tobias Smith has missed the last two, and Quentin Saulsberry has been dinged up for the last 2+ games. And MSU has been using freshman as replacements.
Still, even with the patchwork O-line, State is in the top half of the SEC in total offense, 3rd in rushing offense, and tied for 5th in sacks allowed. Vick Ballard leads all rushers with at least 50 carries with 7 yards per carry. Chris Relf undoubtedly lost his confidence in the LA Tech game. He was 2 of 9 on 3rd down, and State was 3 of 16 as a whole. James Carmon is coming back this week, and if Relf can regroup, MSU will be fine. It was good to see Chad Bumphis make his presence felt as well getting some touches and returning a punt for a touchdown.
Coming into the season there’s no doubt everyone, including myself, had really high expectations. The players have even higher ones. They want to win worse than any fan does. It was disappointing to hear the fans booing last week. There’s absolutely no reason to boo a college player(s). If you want to boo the coach, fine, but wait until the end of the game. This is college football where students, alumni, and players all hold a common bond–their school. We should stick together and have each other’s back. The player’s know when they aren’t performing, and booing isn’t helping them get back on track. They played tight in that 2nd half, they were scared to lose, as that would let themselves and everyone around them down if they did.
The football season is now 1/3 complete. It’s time to reset the season. Don’t look at the remaining schedule and count wins and losses, just root for the Dawgs to win every week. If they don’t, they don’t. If they do, then celebrate. Let’s get behind the team and hopefully they’ll make a great run in the final two months of the season. Let’s start fresh in October.