Tough to imagine a better first half for Mississippi State, huh? Well, outside of the final drive by Jackson State.
The Bulldogs are up 35-6 on the Tigers after an entertaining 30 minutes of action.
We’ve got plenty of things to note, as well as some stats, so read along.
But before that, a couple thoughts.
- The offensive line, probably the biggest concern coming in, has performed well. JSU has gotten penetration at times, but they have a better defensive line than they get credit for. The most encouraging thing for MSU was seeing the O-line get better with each series.
- Junior quarterback Tyler Russell appeared to get more comfortable, as well, as the half went on. How much more of him will we see in the second half? It could be turned over to freshman Dak Prescott late in the third quarter.
- On that last drive by JSU when it scored its lone touchdown, it was majority freshmen and backups in for MSU on defense, so it’s not entirely surprising.
Now, some notes:
- Tobias Smith started the game at right guard, but has not played since the first drive. Sophomore Justin Malone has been playing in his place. Smith has been recovering from a knee injury, so the coaches may just be taking it slow.
- JUCO transfer Charles Siddoway got the start at right tackle over Damien Robinson and has been doing well.
- The first running back in after LaDarius Perkins was actually redshirt freshman Derrick Milton, which was a tad surprising. Though he did well.
- Several true freshmen have played, including defensive tackles Quay Evans and Nick James, defensive end Ryan Brown, cornerback Cedric Jiles and kicker Devon Bell (who has hit all the extra points, but missed a 42-yard field goal.)
- The coaches have been substituting liberally, putting in the second-stringers for entire series’ at a time. The second receivers group was Jameon Lewis, Joe Morrow and Robert Johnson.
- Lewis and Morrow both had a few catches, while Lewis got a couple snaps in the wildcat, even converting a first down.
Now, some numbers.
MSU leads JSU in total offense 240-30.
Tyler Russell was 12-20 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
LaDarius Perkins had 8 carries for 50 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Arceto Clark leads MSU’s receivers with three catches for 36 yards, while Marcus Green is second with two catches for 31 yards and one touchdown.
Safety Nickoe Whitley leads all defenders with four tackles.