The Matchup: South Alabama at #23 Mississippi State
When: Saturday, September 15th
Where: Troy, Alabama
Game Time: 7:00 PM ET
Twenty two missed tackles and 18 blown assignments on defense. That was the stat line that stood out in Mississippi State’s 30-24 win over Troy and that is the stat line (along with several dropped passes) the Bulldogs (3-0) will look to correct this weekend as South Alabama (1-2) heads to Starkville for a night time contest at 7 PM EST on ESPN 3.
With a veteran group in the secondary and plenty of players with quality playing time one would expect this Mississippi State defense to be better equipped and prepared this season but so far that is not the case.
Per the Jackson Clarion Ledger Brandon Marcello reports a breakdown of the Bulldog defense thus far with first the nations ranking and then the South Eastern Conference ranking for the Bulldogs and their is work to do against both the run and the pass.
141 ypg (54th ↓, 7th ↓)
210 ypg (50th ↓, 7th ↓)
351 ypg (47th ↓, 9th ↓)
The focus for this Bulldog team needs to improve as Mississippi State will again be playing a team they would seem to over match on paper. South Alabama was just playing prep schools a few years ago and are now transitioning into a Division one program under head coach Joey Jones.
With several teams over the recent years falling to programs of lesser stature – Mississippi State head man Dan Mullen knows not to take this team lightly as they will be prepared under Jones.
For Jones it is about motivating his team to play another big time college team after falling 31-7 to North Carolina State.
“You always prepare to win. If you’re an odds maker you might not pick us to win, but there is somebody who gets beat every week who isn’t supposed to. That’s the way I look at it.”, said Jones.
“We will go out and prepare. We were watching film of last week’s game, and had we done some of the things we were supposed to do, the game would have been much closer. It all comes down to us, not how good our opponent is. If we do the right things and put ourselves in a position to win, we will have a chance, and if we don’t we won’t.”
“We are going to get knocked around some, they have some big linemen. But we’ll keep fighting back and trying to make plays and do what we are supposed to do, that is what we have to focus on.”
For State – again it is a game they need to take seriously, take control of early and correct their miscues from last week.
A repeat performance and this team may not be so lucky next time.
About the Author
Written by Jake Wimberly
Mississippi State alum, co-founder of makeitrainsports, co-host to makeitrainsports radio on Rebel sports radio and Bulldog sports radio all on the Vsporto Network. Lover of SEC Sports, fitness and married to my best friend. Enjoy ketchup in large amounts and in search for a flying unicorn.