As the Mississippi State Bulldogs get set to face the Kentucky Wildcats, Miss. State’s OC Kevin Barbay is focused on improving in how the Bulldogs execute.
Things haven’t always worked out for Kevin Barbay and the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ offense this season. Now, as MSU is facing a ton of pressure to win, Mississippi State’s first-year offensive coordinator is trying to stay focused on execution and red zone scoring.
Which, if you watched Mississippi State’s horrible loss to the Auburn Tigers, you’d understand that these are two areas the Bulldogs desperately need to find some answers in.
When asked about the offense’s struggles on third downs and in the red zone during his weekly availability to members of the media, Barbay made it clear that he is aware of the need to execute better when the Bulldogs are facing critical situations.
“On third downs, we’ve got to do a better job having that red area plan…but bottom line, we’ve got to be better on third downs,” Barbay said.
Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator also noted that it’s less than ideal when the offense is forced into situations where it has to attempt field goals in the red zone.
“We get down to the red area, and in today’s college football, you’ve got to maximize the possessions,” Barbay explained. “We get down there and we’ve got to score touchdowns. We can’t settle for field goals. I felt like we left some points on the field there in the first half.”
Everything Mississippi State football OC Kevin Barbay said after Bulldogs lost to Auburn as MSU prepares for Kentucky
Where does a lot of that start?
Well, Barbay also admitted that he needs to ensure he is putting players in better positions to convert on third downs and score touchdowns when the Bulldogs make it into the red zone. The first-year coordinator took accountability for the struggles MSU has on third down (just a 31 percent conversion rate) and in the red zone (just a 57 percent touchdown rate) this season.
“I’ve got to do a better job having that red area plan,” Barbay admitted.
To see everything that Barbay said during his time speaking with the media, Mississippi State’s athletics department made the “media session” available to watch on YouTube. It’s free and easy to check out. It’s great. Shoutout to MSU for enabling this bit of free transparency for MSU fans.
And while there are many that are frustrated with Barbay’s offense (and rightfully so), it seems like he’s facing an odd situation. His offense hasn’t translated well to the Bulldogs’ roster in the way that it worked at his previous stops. Maybe that has something to do with the Air Raid, maybe it has to do with some form of outside interference, maybe it has to do with injuries and depth issues.
Or who knows, maybe it’s just bad execution compounding the issues that bad luck is providing. Either way, the offense wasn’t great last week, Barbay took some accountability for that, and now maybe the offense will work better this week.