As Mississippi State football moves into the first full season under Zach Arnett’s leadership, some noteworthy changes are happening. And that includes the offense.
Zach Arnett is embarking on his first season as the head coach of the Mississippi State football program and changes are happening in Starkville. That includes moving away from the Air Raid and moving towards a scheme that he feels is the best way to lead the Bulldogs forward.
While some might disagree with changes given the way the roster was configured, Arnett ultimately is responsible for making changes to lead the Bulldogs. And he’s ultimately responsible for Mississippi State’s success.
And so, when Arnett as searching for his new offensive coordinator, it appears that Arnett prioritized finding a mind who could thoroughly tailor a scheme around the strengths of a roster.
That apparently led him to bring on Kevin Barbay as the offensive coordinator.
Mississippi State football: Zach Arnett addresses new offense during SEC Media Days
Arnett was asked about all of this during SEC Media Days. When he was interviewing candidates, Arnett apparently first asked what the offensive identity is going to look like.
“Obviously you get a lot of different answers, and I think the most refreshing thing, talking to Coach Barbay, Kevin, was when I asked that question the response was, ‘I can’t tell you that until we figure out who the best 11 players are,'” Arnett explained.
Rather than being rigid, Barbay displayed plenty of humility and adaptability. And Arnett was a fan of that.
“That was refreshing to hear that level of humility because that’s how I was brought up in this business,” Arnett said.
And he continued by explaining that Barbay has already demonstrated his adaptability at other institutions. According to Arnett, Barbay has done a good job of tailoring his schemes to best fit the offensive talent available to him.
“Everywhere he’s been it’s looked a little bit different because the players are different,” Arnett said.” Your job on offense is to get the ball in your most explosive players’ hands, hopefully in as much space as possible so they can do what they do.”
What will Mississippi State’s offense look like with Kevin Barbay?
It’s not totally clear what the Bulldogs’ offense will look like just yet, but it seems likely that changes are coming. Our very own Andrew Miller has done a good job of exploring some of the changes that are likely coming to Starkville.
There’s a chance that MSU could incorporate Wide Zone into its offense based on some things that we saw in the spring game. That sort of innovation would be fascinating to watch given the way the Bulldogs have run the ball over the past few seasons.
Changes are coming. The scheme will look different. But, well, it could be a good thing (even for those of us who truly love the Air Raid and the way Mike Leach ran an offense).