Mississippi State Football: 3 Takeaways from The Egg Bowl
Saturday night was a hard pill to swallow for me, my fellow Bulldog fans, and the Mississippi State Football team. The Golden Egg will reside in Oxford for the first time in two years.
We all know what will happen next. We have to endure our Ole Miss friends, family, and the endless posts on social media of how Ole Miss is and was always better than Mississippi State.
Let’s all say it together now loudly: GTHOM!
It is never easy losing the Egg Bowl, even in a season impacted by Covid. We have to bear this until next year, when the 94th Egg Bowl will be held in Starkville. Hopefully, Mississippi State will reclaim the Golden Egg for the foreseeable future.
This season was not the season anyone expected. Mississippi State, like Ole Miss, broke in rookie Egg Bowl coaches, and Covid impacted both teams. Mississippi State also endured roster issues all year.
I want to believe that if those roster issues had not occurred that the Golden Egg would be safely back in Starkville and not in that wretched place where no Bulldog fan wishes the Egg to be.
Even after losing the Golden Egg, there is a reason to be optimistic about the future under Mike Leach. Please leave your comments and opinions on the 3 Takeaways from the Egg Bowl loss.
Will Rogers Should Have Been the QB All Season
Our season started with an upset no one expected, and everyone was on the Bulldog Bandwagon. After a record-setting offensive performance against LSU, no one expected the wheels to come off so soon. The Air Raid offense struggled mightily after the LSU game.
After seeing Will Rogers grow up in front of my eyes, I can only wonder what the season would have looked like if Rogers was the starter from day one. Multiple times during the preseason and throughout the season, Coach Leach reported that Rogers and Costello were neck and neck in the quarterback competition.
If a true freshman is that close in performance with a seasoned college quarterback, why not roll with the true freshman for the future?
We all know Leach brought Costello in as a stop-gap quarterback on his way to the NFL. When the stop-gap ends up not working in your favor, you should immediately turn to the future.
The future is now for Will Rogers in the remaining football games to be played by Mississippi State, if those games are ever played. Rogers lit up the Ole Miss defense for 440 yards and 3 touchdowns. I can only imagine what if Will Rogers had not missed the LSU game.
Would he have been the starter all along?
Jaden Walley is The Next Great Bulldog Wide Receiver
Jaden Walley is well on his way to becoming the next great Bulldog wide receiver. For the season, Walley has 35 receptions for 462 yards and one touchdown. Before his explosion against Georgia, Walley flashed his ability against Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
In the last two games, Walley has 16 receptions for 291 yards and one touchdown. It has been the way Walley has made those catches that makes me feel like he is the next great Bulldog wide receiver.
Walley’s touchdown catch against Georgia was an amazing sight to see as he ran away from their defense was reminiscent of Fred Ross. The amazing one-handed catch against Ole Miss and holding on to the ball after taking a shot reminded me of the focus of Eric Moulds.
I know I just compared a true freshman wide receiver to two of the greatest to ever do it in a Bulldog uniform, but this young man deserves that praise for his performances. I cannot wait to see what his career numbers end up being in this offense.
The Defense Played Better than Expected
All year the strength of the Mississippi State Football team has been the defense. Defensive Coordinate Zack Arnett has put together a good Defensive Unit in his first year. As well as the defense has played, there have been chinks in the Maroon armor.
Ole Miss came into the game having scored over fifty points in their last two games. The Bulldog run defense shut Georgia down, but that was not the case through the air.
Against Ole Miss, the weakness was exploited for two long touchdown passes. Our old friend Elijah Moore also had a good game, but we kept his hindleg raising behind out of the endzone.
The Bulldogs defense still played well enough to keep it close as they made Kiffin pay by stopping his offense several times on 4th down.
I can only wonder what the outcome would have been had Ole Miss faced (In Emperor Palpatine’s voice) the Full Power of the Bulldog Defense.
Bonus: Where has Geor’quarius Spivey been all season?
When I saw Spivey make that leaping 41-yard catch to get the Bulldogs downfield, my reaction was, where has he been all season long. Spivey towers over defensive backs and could be a red-zone weapon. Against Ole Miss, Spivey had his best game of the season with 5 catches for 97 yards.
If the Bulldogs can play the Auburn and Missouri games, I want to see Spivey continue to be utilized. He won’t outrun many people, but he sure will outjump them. He looks like a basketball player out there, and Leach needs to find ways to get him the ball.
Fast forward to the 9:15 mark to see Spivey’s leaping catch.
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