X-Factor – Northwestern State Edition


Every week there will be one player or coach who will be considered the x-factor.  The x-factor is player/coach who will really need to perform well that week, in order for the Dawgs to come away with a win.  Essentially the x-factor is the make-or-break position on the field for that week.

After a huge build up to the LSU game last week, this week’s game against the Demons of Northwestern State (0-2) will be a bit of a buzz kill.  The players will not be excited to play.  The fans will not be excited to watch the game.  It is just one of those weeks that every fan base in the country has to suffer through.  With LSU playing Auburn at 2:30 and Alabama playing Ole Miss at 8:15, many MSU fans will stay at home this weekend to watch the better games.

While the fans see this game as useless, this game is important for the Bulldogs to get back on the winning track.  This game is also useful for the players who don’t get to see the field very often.  The back up players will get some valuable playing time that they normally wouldn’t get.  They get to take what they learned in practice and apply it to a game situation.  The Bulldog faithful will get their first real look at both Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley, the two who will more than likely battle it out in the offseason for the starting QB spot.  Aeris Williams and Dontavian Lee will also get some playing time.  They have already been seldomly seen so far this season, but this will be the first time they will get significant snaps.  Be also on the look out for freshmen Jamal Peters and Leo Lewis on the defensive side of the ball.

In a game where the Bulldogs can name the score, it is hard to pick an x-factor, because the play of one single player will not effect the game enough to change the outcome.  So this week, the entire starting line up will be the x-factor.  I know what you are thinking, “Why would they be the x-factor when they wont even play an entire half?”  Well if Dan Mullen and staff really want to get the other players some playing time, it will be up to the starters to come out and put up some quick points on offense and get stops on defense.  If the Dawgs come out and play lackadaisical, they will just take away valuable playing time for the backups.  Dak Prescott and Co. should be able to do whatever they so please on Saturday afternoon against a team that is giving up over 500 yards per game against less-than-stellar competition.  The psycho defense should be able to run a basic defensive package and still be able to stop the Demons.

The starters need to come in, get the job done, and then focus on Auburn.  The sooner they take care of business, the sooner they can get off the field and give the backups a chance to play.