We got to enjoy the first win of the 2023 Mississippi State football season and now we get to analyze the good, bad, and ugly from said win.
When you play an FCS opponent, you expect a lot of good, not much bad, and hardly any ugly (aside from that Maroon is All That Matters shirt the guy next to you was wearing). When you win a game 48-7, you expect around the same.
After last Saturday in Davis Wade, I could write an entire article only going over the good surrounding the Mississippi State football team.
And that’s where I’ll start:
The good: That impressive offensive output from the Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State had 525 yards of total offense on Saturday, including 298 rushing yards. It was an amazing performance, especially in the second half, from the Bulldogs rushing offense.
The Bulldogs’ effort on the ground included 127 yards from Woody Marks (to go with 59 receiving yards) and almost a second 100-yard rusher in quarterback Mike Wright. For a team that hasn’t had a 100-yard game from a single player in 3 years, it was a hard turn from the Air Raid offense we’ve gotten used to.
Additionally, MSU only had one penalty in the game for 15 yards.
I’m sure emotions will be higher along with the stakes in the games following this one, but that is a great start for a team with a brand new head coach. Things were absolutely NOT sloppy from a discipline standpoint in State’s first game of the season and Zach Arnett’s first game as head coach.
In addition to Woody Marks, I think two specific players deserve shoutouts this week: Creed Whittemore and Kyle Ferrie.
Whittemore had some big shoes to fill in some fans’ eyes wearing the 85 that Austin Williams has worn for the past several years. He delivered in a major way by pairing 4 receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown with 2 rushes for 57 yards and another touchdown on the ground. The game was simply more exciting when Whittemore had the ball in his hands.
There is a reason why #collegekickers is a thing.
College kickers are not reliable. In the annals of college football classics, there are several historic gaffes from the small guys charged with putting the ball through the uprights. So I think it’s important to point out the job that Kyle Ferrie did on Saturday. 2 of 2 on the day, and not little baby, chump field goals. Ferrie nailed both of his chances from over 40 yards out. If that wasn’t enough, he made all SIX of his extra points.
If you don’t think that’s impressive, you haven’t watched much Mississippi State football over the last decade.