Mississippi State Report Card vs. Texas A&M


Let’s pass out some grades for Mississippi State in the 30-17 loss to Texas A&M….

Offense: C-

Still no running game….from running backs…..so Dak Prescott got back into the action with 96 yards on the ground. MSU actually out-gained A&M in rushing yards by two even though it didn’t seem like they did. Malik Dear’s 52 yard touchdown run was thing of beauty but it was the only carry he got all night. It sounds like he was battling injury so that may have been the reason for that, but he looks just like Josh Robinson carrying the football – he’s the answer here.

17 points isn’t going to cut it. I mentioned in the preview that the winner of this game each year has scored a ton of points so that’s what you have to do to win. State is averaging just under 18 points per game in SEC play so that was a question going in, and it’s a question coming out – is the offense going to score enough? They are moving the ball fairly well but not scoring. In this particular game turnovers really killed our chances.

Defense: B-

If you had told me the defense was going to give up 30 points on the road vs. A&M I would’ve taken it in a heartbeat. That’s good against their offense. They are loaded with talent and have really good coaches – just accept 30 points was not bad.

Manny Diaz got smoked in the first quarter but he re-grouped and got things together. Basically it was like the offense vs. LSU: bad game plan to start but good adjustments after the 1st quarter, particularly after halftime.

Chris Jones is going to have to step up the second half of the season or NFL scouts will be advising him to come back for his senior year. He’s a good player, but doesn’t look like a first round draft pick….yet.

Special Teams: D-

I won’t give them a F because Westin Graves made his field goal but other than that it wasn’t good. That’s disappointing after such a good showing at Auburn.

Shanked punts and really bad kickoff returns. We have to figure out how to field the ball when it’s bouncing. Letting it bounce around and lolly-gagging, then allowing ourselves to get tackled at the 5 yard line is beyond unacceptable. It should be a given that we’ll start off on at least the 20 after a kickoff.

Coaching: C

While Mississippi State did not play well in this game, there’s not much doubt that A&M is more talented this year. Myles Garrett is an absolute beast and we don’t have anyone to block him. Maybe we should have doubled him more, I don’t know. He was the major reason the offense wasn’t successful. And A&M’s receivers are simply better than our defensive backs. I thought we did a pretty good job of limiting them.

The biggest thing the coaching staff needs to figure out going forward is personnel. Get the best players in the game whether they are underclassmen or upperclassmen. Play the best guys and this can still be a really successful season.

Next: Mississippi State vs. Troy Point Spread Announced