MSU Football at a Crossroads


And no, I’m not talking about the bar that used to be “out there” somewhere in the middle of the Golden Triangle. It might not be a bad idea for Dan Mullen, however, to go to a bar to re-evaluate the football program- and he might want to take Scott Stricklin with him too. Dan has certainly elevated the expectations of MSU fans everywhere- and that’s certainly a good thing. We did win eight games which is always good and we are indeed going to a bowl somewhere. But at the same time, there is the trap of being complacent and “comfortable”. I hope that we are not falling into the trap, and if we were- I hope Saturday night was a good wake-up call.

Don’t get me wrong- I can understand losing to a rival on the road. What I can’t understand goes a lot deeper than that- where was the “relentless effort”? It wasn’t just the Egg Bowl- where was the relentless effort all year? I don’t know if that’s a player personality thing, I don’t know if it’s something that your coaches can instill in your team- whatever the case is, we need to get back to playing with relentless effort above all things. In my opinion, it is something that comes from the coaching staff and goes down to the players. That’s why I question and wonder if Dan has gotten too comfortable at MSU. I wonder if he has maybe listened to Jackie Sherrill too much about only being able to get your team up for three games a year- which I by the way find ridiculous. I would love to see the look on my supervisor’s face at work if I told them that I could only do my best about 25% of the time. I don’t suggest anyone try that at work unless you are obviously working for Larry Templeton. If we lose, we lose- but let’s at least go down playing our tails off. There’s a lot more wrong than the effort.


I think Tyler did an outstanding job this year. I thought he played his worst game of the year in the Egg Bowl. A lot of his throws were high for some reason. But those out there thinking that we somehow would have been better with Dak- I think you’re a little off base there. Dak has looked good in garbage time and he does well in short yardage. But let’s not forget Dak threw a REALLY bad ball behind our WR on a critical fourth down play. When the game is on the line and there’s actual pressure to perform- it’s different. Some people will say- “well Dan is just more comfortable calling plays with a mobile quarterback”- have we forgotten last year when we ran the same sorry plays over and over with Chris Relf? Tyler can play, but he needs help from the coaching staff. We need to expand the offense and we need to incorporate better check-downs for Tyler. We need to find ways to utilize the TE’s more and we need to use Nick Griffin more in tandem with LaDarius Perkins. And speaking of- we need to throw it to Perkins a lot more as well. Someone needs to inform our coaching staff that it is still legal to run screens.

Offensive line

Much like the rest of the team, they played poorly. I’m going to give them a little bit more of a pass for two reasons: They improved over the course of the year from last year. And two- they had some injuries to the right side of the line which hurt them. Tobias Smith- the alleged “heart and soul” of our team could not play, and yet he was able to play the second half. That really says it all to me- when your leader is choosing to sit out the biggest game of the year instead of playing through pain. I appreciate what Tobias has done for MSU. I really do- but if he’s not able to physically play, he needs to quit football. Certain games, competitors find a way to play the game unless they are in the hospital tied down to a hospital bed- and the reason that they are tied down is because they are trying to go play the football game. If they want to keep him around as a graduate assistant- I’m all for that, but that is an issue that needs to be addressed. Because as it is, he is taking reps from Justin Malone and next year possibly someone like Devon Desper that can actually maybe go out there and play for us.


We need more weapons and we need to utilize the weapons that we have better. We need a deep threat at WR REALLY bad. And we need to use Nick Griffin more. Why we insist on trying to make LaDarius Perkins a between the tackles back like JJ Johnson I do not know. Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis need to step it up as well. Expand the offense. Running zone read option all the time is no excuse for having bad wide receivers.


Here’s the reality- it’s time for Chris Wilson to go. He can’t gameplan or make adjustments. When does try to be creative, it’s usually something asinine such as having Nikoe Whitley cover the other teams best wide receiver. His bend but don’t break- which is more like bend and break- I think really takes away from the “relentless effort” that I was talking about. His defense asks you to sit back and wait for something to happen and then react. That works with all-pro NFL talent. We don’t have all-pro NFL talent. Our defense allowed more yards than our offense gained this year. That’s sobering. We need to run a scheme with more blitzing and attacking with some occasional zone. We also need someone creative- much like Joe Lee Dunn and Manny Diaz. For us to compete in the SEC with the upper echelon teams, we must be strong on defense. If Dan keeps Chris after the bowl game, it will tell me a lot as a fan about how Dan feels about his situation at MSU and whether he actually wants to continue to win and move us forward or if he wants to keep getting a paycheck.

Special teams

Dan really needs to give this up. Much like defense, we have to be solid in special teams if we are going to compete in the SEC. And no, we weren’t just awful this year- but it’s more about allowing Dan more time to focus on being a head coach than anything. Make Scott Sallach do it since we don’t throw to the tight ends anyway.

The schedule and bowls

We did have an easier schedule this year. We have gotten some criticism for that. What you as a fan have to do is NOT FALL for the propaganda. Our opponents want us to be a 3-9 team every year. Our coaches however, did not utilize the easy schedule the way that they should have. That was the time to work on things such as screen passes, expanding the offense and that sort of thing. We did not do that. That falls on the coaches because that was the time for us to get better. Playing Georgia Tech, West Virginia, and Houston- you can’t exactly work on getting better. If we have a manageable schedule, we are going to have a chance to get better AS LONG as the coaches use the schedule wisely. So, our coaches need to look at that in the offseason. There are some rumors being spread about us possibly dropping all the way down to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. I don’t think that will happen, but if it is a possibility, we need our athletic director to step up and go to bat for us on that. That’s something I’ll be watching this next week.

The MSU football experience

Our football program has got to stop doing silly things such as have a tribute for the Snow Bowl. Scott needs to look at how we use the video board and have less ads and I hope that the DJ video had very poor support amongst the fans. Coordinate with the band better and actually let them play from time to time. I actually like Physics of Football, but many of our fans don’t – so scrap it. Have a fan contest to come up with the next pre-game run out video and let the fans vote instead of hoping that some lame DJ video will be liked. And have contests that fans not named Drew Brees can actually win. Oh yeah- and Scott- you know what fans really like? A team that plays with relentless effort. I might even pay to see that.  And get a contract with Nike too.