Week 2 - Mississippi State at Arizona
Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-0) - 39
Arizona Wildcats (1-1) - 17
This Arizona team was not the same team that went 1-11 last season, full of transfers and promising young talent the Wildcats had upset on the mind in their home opener. After both teams scored quickly on their first possessions this game looked to have the makings of a barn burner. After the opening drive for the Wildcats, the Bulldogs pinned their ears back and started to have their way with the Arizona offensive line. Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura looked quick and precise the first drive, and after the pressure got to him he looked like he could never get settled in, even when the Bulldogs gave limited pressure. State ended up with 3 interceptions on the evening by Forbes, Green and Watson; and only allowed 316 yards of total offense (40 rushing yards). The defense looked strong tonight even with some of the obvious holding calls that went missed. The offense looked strong and still shows room for improvement. The Wildcats could not stop the run tonight as they allowed 113 yards to Johnson and Marks combined. Rogers threw for 302 yards and 4 touchdowns and landed passes to 10 different receivers.
The concerns, Massimo Biscardi missed 2 extra point attempts early and was replaced by Ben Raybon who went 3/3 on extra points and 2/2 on field goal attempts. Kicking has to not be an issue going forward.
The ability to cut down on turnovers, there were multiple fumbles and an interception that was in and out of the hands of the receiver. It's fine to have some of these issues against weaker opponents, but we must cut down on these problems as we get into SEC play.
The offensive line taking plays off, this was a week of another late 4th quarter. Our offensive line seems to get porous later in the game and it forces Will to get hit in the pocket or make a get away to avoid pressure. This was an issue for most coming into the season, and I must say they've been better than I expected overall, but I want to see them cut down on these dead plays.
(Scroll toward the bottom to see scoring drives and stats)
Next week they head to Baton Rouge for a night matchup with the LSU Tigers.
LSU rolled their Week 2 opponent in Southern University, 65-17. After losing their Week 1 matchup against Florida St, Southern was a welcome uplift game for the Tigers. We saw both LSU QBs in this matchup Daniels threw for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns, Nussmeier threw for 183 yards and 2 interceptions. The Tigers had 4 rushing touchdowns, highlighted by Goodwin with 85 yards and 2 touchdowns. The receiving crew woke up, and found their start Boutte for 5 catches and 42 yards. Nabers, Thomas Jr and Bech had the receiving touchdowns for LSU.
Preview for Week 3
In a rivalry dominated by the Tigers, the Bulldogs have been able to break through a bit winning 3 out of the last 8 matchups. This game will be the first true road test for the Bulldogs this season in what most are thinking has the chance to be special after seeing how Week 2 went for the SEC. There is lots to be hopeful about this edition of Bulldogs in Baton Rouge. LSU struggled mightily in their Week 1 matchup with Florida St, the Seminoles had 392 total yards on the Tigers and won after LSU botched the extra point attempt to send the game into overtime. How can the Bulldogs take advantage of the Tigers weaknesses? State has a strong defense and the Tigers have a weak offense, and they will most likely be turning to transfer quarterback Jayden Daniels to run their offense once again. The strong secondary will be able to spy Daniels and keep his run game to a minimum. Florida St had a receiver go for 7 catches, 102 yards and 2 touchdowns; and that offense looked terrible most of the night. The way Rogers can dissect a defense there is no reason to think that this can't be a high scoring game quickly in favor of the 'Dogs.
LSU lost star defensive lineman Mason Smith in the first game of the season and he is expected to miss the remainder of the season. John Emery Jr their starting running is back off of suspension. Mississippi State has no injuries of note, keep an eye on Woody Marks who has been dealing with minor ankle injuries.
Arizona got first possession and wasted no time in scoring, as they drove down the field fast and rushed up the right side for a 34 yard touchdown. 0-7 Arizona
Tulu set up the offense with a good return, State drives down the field for a touchdown on the legs of Woody Marks. The drive was highlighted by a 16 yard scamper up the middle. Extra point no good. 6-7 Arizona
After forcing a turnover, the dogs were back in action ready to strike. The move down the field to set up the second score of the night. "Rogers drops back and looks right, throws it up for Ducking who grabs it and rides the defender out of the end zone. There is some pushing and shoving between Ducking and the defender." Extra point no good. 12-7 State
After forcing a three and out with a stout defensive effort, the offensive drive stalled out setting up a 39 yard field goal attempt. "Snap is good, hold is good. Raybon kicks it up and through for three!" 15-7 State
Arizona gets an interception and has a quick 3 drives go no where, Forbes made a big play in the end zone which was initially ruled an interception but overturned by review. Arizona sent the kicker out to add 3. 15-10 State
Offense has a methodical drive down the field running and passing. On the goal line the offense stalls out and it brings out the kicking unit. "Raybon set, the snap and the kick is through for three just before the half." 18-10 State
Bulldogs started the half with the ball. Rogers comfortably drove down the field dissecting the defense. In the red zone, Marks was hit out of the backfield and was injured on the tackle. After a holding call it set up a nice catch and run for Tulu, which was the capped off by an Austin Williams touchdown grab "Offense lines up, Rogers looks left and throws a quick slant to Austin Williams for the touchdown!" 25-10 State
Emmanuel Forbes intercepted the ball to give State great field position, but it was quickly lost on a Calvin fumble and return inside the 10. That set up a screen pass to Cowing for Arizona that went in for a score. 25-17 State
After an interception by Bookie Watson that was returned inside the 15, the offense stalled out. After passing to get it inside the 10, the offense converted to a familiar face. "Rogers looks to the sideline for an adjustment, back to the line, claps. The quick pass to Williams again on the slant for a Bulldog touchdown!" 32-17 State
As the game started to wind down, Arizona kept the punt crew off the field and Rogers and the offense finally capitalized to seal the victory. "Rogers drops back looks right. To the corner of the end zone for Ducking. Who makes the grab and hangs onto it with one hand!" 39-17 State
Mississippi State Stats
QB Will Rogers - 39/49 313 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
RB Dillon Johnson - 60 rush yds, 6 catch 34 yds
RB Woody Marks - 53 rush yds, 1 TD, 5 catch 8 yds
WR Rara Thomas - 5 catch 63 yds
WR Caleb Ducking - 7 catch 56 yds, 2 TD
WR Rufus Harvey - 6 catch 54 yds
WR Austin Williams - 5 catch 31 yds, 2 TD
WR Tulu Griffin - 2 catch 28 yds
WR Antonio Harmon - 1 catch 16 yds
WR Jaden Walley - 2 catch 12 yds
LB Jett Johnson - 6 tackles, 2 assisted
LB Tyrus Wheat - 4 tackles
LB Bookie Watson - 4 tackles, 1 INT
S Jalen Green - 3 tackles, 1 INT
DL Randy Charlton - 3 tackles, 1 sack
CB Decamerion Richardson - 3 tackles
S Jackie Matthews - 3 tackles
CB Emmanuel Forbes - 1 tackle, 1 INT
K Massimo Biscardi - 0/2 XP
K Ben Raybon - 3/3 XP 2/2 FG (39,22)
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Jaron Ruth, @StrssdGamerDad