Breaking Down What Has Happened So Far With Mississippi State Football


Mississippi State football fans came out in droves this season to hope that last season’s record success could translate to more success this season. Through 5 weeks of the season, this has proven to be more difficult of a season than we thought. Mississippi State currently holds a 3-2 (1-2 SEC) record, with a heartbreaking loss to LSU at home then a devastating loss to Texas A&M this past Saturday. Now the question in every Bulldog fan’s mind is, “What went wrong? Why aren’t we just as strong this year as we were last?” Hopefully, I can answer those questions for you in this article.

The biggest question marks coming into this season on the offensive side of the ball were how good would our offensive line be, and how well would we replace Josh Robinson. Simply put, we didn’t replace Josh Robinson at all. The running game is absolutely pathetic this year, and why are we running Brandon Holloway between the tackles? We thought we saw the future in Ashton Shumpert as our feature back in the backfield near the end of last season. Sadly, though, it seems that our expectations for Shumpert were too high.

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Part of this could be blamed on the offensive line, which can’t seem to get a strong push on the front. If you can’t win the battle of the line of scrimmage, then your running game is going to struggle. If I’m John Hevesy, I’m happy with the pass protection but I’m not very happy with the run blocking. I understand that we have 3 players learning new positions, but that’s no excuse for getting maybe 1 or 2 yards of push on run blocking.

On the defensive side, our questions were how do we replace our losses in the front seven, and how good will the secondary truly be? Well I think our front seven is doing fairly well, but the defensive line needs to get to the backfield more. The linebacker corps is doing the job we asked them to do. The Browns are leading the way in their slots, which is exactly what is needed for the core of the defense. Chris Jones and Nick James have been less than stellar though, which is a disappointment for Bulldog fans who have seen their potential all of their careers.

In the secondary, our safeties need to improve. While our cornerback play has been great, we can’t continually leave receivers open in their routes. Now whether this falls on the defensive backs or Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz is a question that may need to be answered later. Speaking of Diaz, I’m about sick and tired of watching our defense effectively play not to give up the Touchdown. I’d prefer no points to be given up by our defense. I’d prefer that we force three and outs. Instead, we give up first downs and lock down in the red zone. While that’s great to have a stellar red zone defense, it’s pathetic that we can basically give up stopping a team until the red zone. Fans now expect the opponents to get to the red zone, and that’s not how it should be on the defensive side of the ball.

In a positive side, WE HAVE A KICKER! It feels good to type that out and say it in my mind. Mississippi State finally has a legitimate kicker than we can rely on to hit the mark. Graves has been a breath of fresh air for many Bulldogs fans on a position that we had many heart-attacks over. So let us all stand and applaud Graves for being the savior of the special teams that we have been waiting for.

All in all, let’s get ready for Troy this weekend and improve on the issues we have discussed. If we can improve on these, then every Bulldog fan should be a lot happier come Homecoming.

Next: Mississippi Made Headlines in October in 2014, it laid an egg in 2015