What do we take away from Mississippi State football’s offense against Alabama?
It was nice to see Mississippi State manage to put multiple touchdowns on the board against the Crimson Tide. It was nicer that none of their points came in garbage time. And it was good that State at least found something in the run game again after some recent issues.
But with that being said, it’s hard to be overly optimistic about the offense at this point. The offensive line continues to kill this offense with their pass blocking woes. They picked things up nicely in the run game, but I still have my doubts about State’s ability to consistently find success as a run-heavy attack. It’s not like they’ve just been mauling defensive fronts in the run game on a weekly basis.
The offense has been at it’s best when they’ve been able to spread it out and throw it around. But that requires better pass protection than the OL is providing. There’s major confusion up front right now when it comes to picking up various pressures. And unfortunately, Will Rogers again showed his deficiencies in handling the pass rush. He’s simply not comfortable within this scheme, and it’s made worse when he’s constantly dealing with pass rushers.
And that begs the question of if it’s time to give Mike Wright more opportunities than being simply an occasional package player. I don’t believe Kevin Barbay’s scheme requires a dual threat QB. Much of what he does can be operated by a pocket passer. But for this specific Mississippi State offense, with the issues they have up front, having a runner at QB may become necessary.
Wright’s abilities as a runner adds more effectiveness to a ground game that’s been hit or miss, as he has to be accounted for on every play. And while I do not at all believe he’d be a more effective passer than Rogers, Wright can far more easily evade the pass rush that’s consistently shutting down this Bulldog offense.
I still believe they can put together an effective scheme with Rogers as the QB. But we haven’t seen them commit to that yet, and if they’re not going to, they need to explore other options. State plays Western Michigan this weekend and then has their bye week. After that, they enter a stretch run filled with critical games. If they have not figured out a solution to fixing this offense by then, any hopes of salvaging this season will evaporate.