What are the Most Pressing Issues for Mississippi State?

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Oct 3, 2015; College Station, TX, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Aeris Williams (27) carries the ball as Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (right) defends during the second half at Kyle Field. Texas A&M won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Get the freshmen Running Backs more familiar with the offense

This is where I believe the Bulldogs can make up the most ground going forward. And since it can have the biggest impact on the team, it needs to be where the coaching staff focuses most of their energy.

While I would have liked to have seen more carries by the freshmen in the loss to the Aggies, logic would dictate they didn’t get more carries because they have not received the amount of time and reps in practice as the primary ball carriers that they need. This can be fixed in the coming weeks.

Dan Mullen took the running game out of the hands of Shumpert and Holloway and handed it to the freshmen this past weekend. Expect more of that in the coming few weeks. The real question is who will get the bulk of the carries?

I’ve already discussed the ongoing hype around Malik Dear. He might be best fit for the job, but there is still the nagging issue of the coaching staff viewing him as a slot receiver. If they are going to change that approach, it needs to happen in these next two weeks.

Of the three freshmen, Aeris Williams has been given the most carries. Williams has 12 carries and 63 yards with one touchdown. Those numbers are pretty solid. They might could get better if he is given more reps with the first team offense in practice.

The “it’ guy right now, Malik Dear only has 3 carries for 71 yards. He has rushes of 52 yards, 19 yards, and 0 yards. While he has shown flashes of being a great running back, there isn’t a large enough sample size to anoint him the next great running back at Mississippi State. He could be with more reps, but to assume it would happen would be jumping the gun just a little bit.

Dontavian Leehas 8 carries for 63 yards. It’s a nice average, but 24 came on one carry, and he hasn’t done a whole lot since then.

So how does the coaching staff approach this?

I think the best route is to give Williams the carries and reps of a number 1 back and Dontavian Lee the carries and reps of a number two back. Take a valuable weapon like Malik Dear, and Mullen can use him like he used Percy Harvin at Florida. Be creative and find ways to get the ball to a dynamic play maker.

Next: No. 2 Priority for the Coaching Staff