It’s weird to be disappointed after a double digit win, but that’s where many Mississippi State football fans find themselves right now.
Saturday afternoon, the Mississippi State football team won one of the most frustrating wins a Mississippi State football team has ever won. At least in recent history, that is. This game wasn’t fun by any stretch of the imagination and it often felt like the Western Michigan Broncos were just one play away from making MSU fans absolutely miserable.
But the Bulldogs survived. Mississippi State won. And now MSU is heading into a bye week. What can we take away from this game as we all try to get some rest?
This Mississippi State football team absolutely needs a break and some rest
This week was dreadful from an injury perspective. Absolutely dreadful. Will Rogers got banged up. Woody Marks seemed shaken and was seen in a boot. Just a dreadful and awful week after a number of physical contests on the 2023 Mississippi State football schedule.
Thankfully, we get a bye week.
We could all use some rest, but this group of MSU Bulldogs definitely deserves to get healthy and take a breather after some of the contests they’ve been involved in over the past few weeks.
There have been a number of depth issues resulting from injuries on the defensive side of things, but now it’s circling around to the offense. It feels like it’s been a while since Marks was at 100 percent, but he really seemed to have issues today and it was really odd to see him out on the field when the Bulldogs could turn to their other running backs.
Add in the fact that Rogers got banged up and Western Michigan ran into freshman kicker Kyle Ferrie and this weekend was just bad from an injury perspective.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs might be focusing heavily on the run game going forward
Okay, look, there’s a few things here. First, this is something they’ve certainly wanted to do for a little while now. But because of the way the roster is constructed, the Bulldogs haven’t really zeroed in on this as much as Kevin Barbay probably wants.
If Will Rogers is hurt and needs some time to rest, then the Bulldogs will almost certainly focus heavily on this going forward.
And there were some bright moments from the offense as the Bulldogs ended up running for 194 yards against the Broncos. Woody Marks, Seth Davis and Keyvone Lee all showed up in big ways at times at running back (though, I’m pretty concerned about Marks’ health here) and Mike Wright did a solid job running the ball at times at quarterback.
There’s a very good chance that you see this become even more of a point of emphasis for an offense that continues to search for an identity and if Rogers is hurt.
If Rogers isn’t hurt? Well, I don’t know!
MSU’s defense needs this bye week to get things figured out
While the offense has been all sorts of goofy at times this season, one huge reason for the Mississippi State football team’s struggles is the way the Bulldogs’ defense has routinely struggled to limit big plays.
And against a Western Michigan Broncos team that isn’t exactly known for throwing the ball, Miss. State allowed a third string quarterback to light the Bulldogs up to the tune of completing 77 percent of his passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns against one pick.
WESTERN MICHIGAN WAS AVERAGING 200 PASSING YARDS PER GAME PRIOR TO THIS MATCHUP.
Mississippi State desperately needs to figure out how to generate a pass rush in a hurry. Oh, and no big deal, but the Bulldogs also need to address whatever it is that’s going on in coverage that enables opposing wide receivers to have so much room to run up field.
This is bad!
In total, Western Michigan threw for 297 yards against MSU. That’s a lot for them. Mississippi State needs to make some improvements in a hurry. Otherwise the Bulldogs are simply relying on an inconsistent offense to win some shootouts.