Wow, what a day it was! It was a phenomenal experience for every MSU fan, beating #2 Auburn…and vaulting to #1 in the nation. Let’s take a look back at what happened on the field and pass out some grades.
It’s hard to believe I could really give the offense a ‘B’ when they scored 38 points on the #2 team in the country in route to knocking them off but I am. It was an above average game for a regular team, but not up to the excellence they’ve shown prior to this game.
Dak Prescott had another solid game. Incredible stat line with 246 passing yards and 121 rushing. He made some good throws and good runs on the day like we’ve been accustomed to him doing. The only real knock on him was the INT in the red zone, that just wasn’t a good pass. The first INT at midfield looked like a miscommunication on the WR route, Dak through it was going to be a back-shoulder throw but the WR didn’t and it was an easy pick.
This was the first game in which the Bulldogs didn’t get 500 yards of total offense, however, it was also the best defense they have played. 469 yards is still very good. They were the beneficiary of some short fields early, but they also took advantage of them. I thought the main difference between last year’s Auburn game and this year’s Auburn game was the fact that the offense scored 21 points off the first three turnovers, and last year they scored none off three turnovers (two of them were at midfield).
First off, the Psycho defense FORCED three turnovers in that game. Ryan Brown and Chris Jones had tips at the line of scrimmage which allowed Jay Hughes and Justin Cox to get interceptions respectively. Then Taveze Calhoun jarred the ball lose on the Tigers’ second possession and Benardrick McKinney jumped on it. They gave the offense what they needed to get out to that very quick 14-0 lead.
The red zone defense is incredible. On Auburn’s first three trips they forced three field goal attempts…and one was missed. Then on the fourth drive it took Auburn until the 3rd and goal to score. This group may bend a little, but they are stout for sure on the money downs.
Will Redmond, Matt Wells, Beniquez Brown – just about everybody had a good game.
Special Teams: C+
The good news is maybe we can make most all our extra points and field goals inside 30 yards. If that’s where we are I can live with it – just hit the chip shots.
Also very good was limiting Auburn’s 4th (nationally) ranked punt return team to nothing. Logan Cooke did a great job there.
Not so good was the fake punt interception and muff by Jamoral Graham. Those were two of the four turnovers, and they lead to 10 Auburn points. I like Graham but he’s got to shake the true freshman out of him – there’s no time for that when we’re chasing a SEC championship.
I’d say A+ but the fake punt was mind-boggling. Dan Mullen, Geoff Collins and the rest of the staff not only did a great job Saturday and all week, but all year and in the off-season. The poise and desire this team plays with is incredible. They are a joy to watch! Solid calls by the coaches all day – this group is really getting it done.
This staff has gone through the gauntlet with all the media the last few weeks. If they can handle that I feel like they can handle most anything. We are now adequately prepared for whatever may come the rest of the season. This is pretty exciting, folks!