The Morning After

by

Just a couple of quick thoughts before I hit the road. But first, here are the stories:

MSU bumbles away last year’s momentum

New QB Lee gets the call at halftime

RB Dixon’s effort one bright spot in loss

I remember thinking at halftime: Why is this game so close? Honestly, the biggest play of the game might have been that punt that Tech downed at the 1-yard line. I thought Tyson Lee did well just to give his kicker some room; there was no way he would’ve made a first down on that play, and if he hadn’t slid, he’d have gotten his block knocked off. Then a breakdown by the punt coverage gave Tech the short field and all the momentum heading into halftime.

I thought State’s defense played quite well. Tech had trouble sustaining drives, and their pass-first approach didn’t work too well – Taylor Bennett was 14-for-40 (35 percent) for 175 yards and an interception (tailback Patrick Jackson also threw a pick on a dumb play call).

I’d like to know where y’all thought the game started to get away from MSU. When did the sense of dread kick in for you?

Autopsy report coming Monday.

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40 Responses to “The Morning After”

  1. dawgface52 Says:

    The disaster before half time. 14-3 with momentum would have been good enough to take us on to a victory. 14-9 with momentum for La Tech gave me a bad feeling. Oh well, we are MSU.

  2. fr8dawg Says:

    The fumbled KO to start the third quarter, I thought, was the telling tale. Then, the kicking game in the entire second half was miserable. Was Eric Richards hurt? Croom has got to find someone who is consistent (consistently good that is!).

  3. imabulldog Says:

    Brad you are crazy on the Lee comment, he wouldve gotten the first down, and second you don’t slide with someone behind you in pursuit- only in front of you in pursuit. Anyway, thats all, BTW you are doing a good job

  4. jcdawgman18 Says:

    Brad, did Wes Carroll ever accept responsibility? In the article, he keeps saying we. If he was the leader he was last year, he would have been saying “I need to play better, I let my teammates down” because that is exactly what happened. He killed three drives with those picks. Sure, the Jamayel Smith fumble was bad, but Wes gave back three scoring opportunities, especially a big one on the third pick.

    The frustrating thing, to me, is that we absolutely have to have Wes. While Tyson didn’t turn it over last night, he really didn’t make the plays necessary, either. He showed he is too short to make any throws at all from the pocket because he can’t see over the line. He also showed that he really can’t stretch a defense down the field at all, really. I love his spunk, I love his guts, but that is simply not enough. We moved the ball very, very effectively when Wes was playing well last night. And really, he played well except for three plays. Wes showed an ability to attack in the 15-20 yard downfield range very effectively. He also showed that he can see, which makes all the difference.

    My hopes for this team remain high, but this is gonna hurt all week long, until we get a win under our belts. But I think we should all realize, our coaches and players are hurting even more than we are. I had a friend who used to play at State tell me that weeks like this upcoming week are what make him glad to be watching instead of playing.

  5. bigdraws Says:

    Maybe some of the fans will take their donations back so I can keep my basketball season tickets.

  6. imabulldog Says:

    I’m with you JCD, my hopes are still high for this team. I think they might have needed this. I think it makes them better and they learn from it. Really impressed with how they move the ball on O, and I feel that the D will and special teams will be 10 times better with Piggy out there

  7. jcdawgman18 Says:

    The thought of how good our defense will be with Pegues excites me. They played really well last night without their biggest playmaker.

  8. jcdawgman18 Says:

    Yeah, Brad, hate to pile on with Ima, but Lee would have been able to get the first down (and then run out the whole clock, I might add). It was literally right in front of me. At first I agreed with you, “smart play, avoided the lick”, and then my buddy pointed out the first down marker. I felt like crap. He could have made it, especially if he got hit, becuase the hit was gonna come from behind and basically knock him for the first down. If he keeps running, the only way he doesn’t get it is if he is literally stopped dead in his tracks and has no fall at all.

    Great articles, though. Good job. Hate the first game you cover us for had to be like this, though.

  9. spaceghost1 Says:

    Ahhhhhhhhh, let me count the ways on how this debacle transpired…
    1. Spring ’08 – Pegues misses 4 classes and is suspended for the opener
    2. Holding call on Riley on the 78 yd reverse run by McRae (he looks good btw) — Brad, what is the deal with Riley? This is the only time I recall his name being mentioned the entire game. This guy is a bust.
    3. Kickoff out of bounds after we go up 14-3. No excuse for this. This put Tech in great field position which then allowed them to pin us at our 1, which in turn set up their TD right before halftime. How come we don’t have a punter as good as Tech’s? Where was Richards?
    4. Fumbled the opening kickoff of the 2nd half. Yes, we did get the ball right back on an int, but this set the tone that we are very undisciplined and foreshadowed my fifth point, which was the biggest play of the game…
    5. Smith bumbling and fumbling the punt return. Did he just not see the ball coming his way? Has he never returned a punt in his life? Which leads us back to Pegues missing classes. I gotta believe we would’ve won the game if we had him. We are not to the point yet where we can lose the best player on our team and still win.
    6. While he did make some nice throws early, you can’t discount the poor play of Carroll after the 1st qtr. 3 picks? Are you kidding me? How many did he have total last year? 6?
    Brad, what’s your take on lid-lifters with Croom? Last year we had 7 turnovers, albeit against the Nat’l champs, but come on. 5 turnovers against a lowly WAC team?? What’s the deal? Looks like Croom doesn’t think the season starts until the 2nd or 3rd game.
    What were Croom’s goals going into the season? Oh, yeah, beat Bama, beat Ole Miss, and go to a BCS bowl game. Well, we blew the BCS bowl chance last night, Bama looked good, and OM scored over 40 points. How many weeks until baseball season starts? Basketball will be a down year for us as well, but I digress…

  10. gme22 Says:

    I think Woody SUX and he can take Dixon s sissy ass with him on his way out, that was a disgrace to all human kind, the way they attempted to play football last night

  11. RoastBeef1 Says:

    I noticed someone comment on Carroll’s leadership. Here’s the simple solution, play Tyson Lee. Lee looked better than Carroll, period. I also talked with a bunch of ICC football players last year that said Tyson Lee was like another coach on the field. His leadership in the huddle was a huge selling point for his coaches and teammates. I don’t understand what more there is to like. Lee is the better QB and leader so play him! Got Tyler Russell coming in from Meridian who could be redshirted while Lee is playing in his senior year and then be ready to step in eventually. Carroll deserves to be a backup QB. Holy crap, he didn’t throw picks last year, but how many tough passes were really asked of him? Quit playing politics Croom, and play your best players!

  12. Brad Locke Says:

    Richards had a hip injury, and Croom didn’t know about it til just before the game. No joke.

    I gotta back Dixon. He ran hard.

  13. db33 Says:

    ??? Eric Richards has had a hip injury for about 3 weeks now. And, Croom has commented on it before.

    Brad, what I want to know is where was ROBERT ELLIOT?? Why didn’t he & Bonner, our SPEED backs not get to touch the ball on offense?? I was expecting sweeps & screens to these guys because THEY were the backs who had the ability to take it to the house. I saw us screen it out to Hoskins and I’m like, WTF??

    The 2 QB rotation doesn’t work unless they do different things. Even with the picks, Carroll looked better. Now, put Delmon or someone shifty and run some misdirection like everyone else in the damn country is doing. I pick up the Journal this morning and have to read about the “Wild Rebel” being a big hit with McCluster and crap like that.

    The only change I saw out of our offense is that we’ve finally, only took 5 seasons, added the WR screen. The simplest pass out there, just turn and throw it sideways. We maybe used to run that once every other week, but this game we ran it a lot and it was almost always effective. Other than that, the OL stunk, Woody stunk, Carroll stunk, Lee stunk, and we left playmakers on the damn bench.

    Croom says to blame him.

    I DO.

  14. Brad Locke Says:

    Well, Croom thought Richards was healthy enough to go. He was hacked about the lack of communication.

  15. Brad Locke Says:

    Good point on Elliott and Bonner. An SEC team should always have more speed than a WAC team, and should always use it. Of course, MSU coaches didn’t seem to value the run as much as I thought they would.

  16. carwwest Says:

    dixon is our playmaker…i have always said running the ball is going to get us where we are going but our passing game needs to be good enough to keep the defense honest….carroll played poorly last night but the 2 QB system is retarded…lee didnt show anything either, he is not an SEC QB…sorry guys…..but we have a 230 something pound back and a 220 something pound back and they touched the ball a total of 21 times against a smaller WAC defense….PATHETIC coaching…..delmon robinson and brandon mcrae looked good, mcrae really good….but did elliott even step on the field??…bonner showed NOTHING at returning kicks looked slow and had no clue where to run….no threat at all….oh and the turning point was lee’s pu$$y slide…he would have had the first down by 3 yards…he cost us 6 points….

  17. ericintupelo Says:

    The game last night wasn’t a complete shock to me but we should’ve won. I kept wondering the whole game why Elliott was on the sidelines when Croom bragged on him all during the Spring and Summer and why he wasn’t fielding punts or kickoffs. We abandoned the run game way too soon and for the most part Dixon ran his butt off but I wish he was more of a North South runner. Seemed like there was always a delay on the quarterback center exchange like the whole line was moving before Lee got out from under center and there were delays when Carrol was under center too. I’m not going to hit the panic button yet. We didn’t deserve to win with 5 turnovers and I thought Zach Smith lit up homeboy on Tech’s team and I thought it was shoulder pad to helmet

  18. skydawg706 Says:

    Hard to put a finger on one point, so many contributing factors both side of the lines. I was not impressed by our pass protection at all.

    Surely every one understands what holding is – where ur hands cannot be — if player is out in front of you why not square up on him instead of getting into a wrestling match.

    LA Tech was up for the game – from everything I read felt they belived they could play against State and win.

    Like others like to seen Dixion running between the guards more. Thought game plan was to pound–pound–pound, to set up short passes, and slants.

    I did not think LA Tech could take the pounding from both sides of the line, especially from the defense. I was expecting Dawgs to come out in 2nd half and turn things around.

    I’m a bulldog fan to the end, wear and fly my colors proudly. Just want to see thme have a dominating season so bad, start to finish. Hard to understand “what’s up” year after year.

  19. imabulldog Says:

    thats right sky, dawgs to the end!

    Woulda like to see Elliot, I still think Carroll can recover.

    I’ve got a sick feeling that Piggy is going to be very effective this year- as always on special teams. And once he returns a KO and a Punt for a TD next week we will realize what might have been vs LaT.

  20. carwwest Says:

    carroll can and will recover but how much depends on whether croom wants to use him right….lee is not the answer at all….i thought i read a while back pegues wasnt going to be used on kickoffs anymore anyways??….just punts this year??….but bonner didnt show anything.. no elusiveness, no threat…..

  21. skydawg706 Says:

    MY BAT………..

    BRAD………welcome…good to have onboard and providing a place to blow off steam…..when needed.

  22. jcdawgman18 Says:

    Heard rumblings of Elliot being suspended for the game. That would answer the question as to why he didn’t play.

    Like I said before, we need Wes to play well. It became obvious at the end that Tyson Lee cannot see over the line. If you can’t see, you can’t read the defense, and if you can’t read the defense…..bad things happen. Wes showed improved arm strength last night, but his decision making was off. I figure the week he’ll go through this week will correct that problem.

    As far as Richards goes, his hip seems to have been a nagging thing throughout camp. Sometimes he can go, sometimes he can’t. Last night, he couldn’t. Don’t really know what we can do about it.

  23. chrisfromcorinth Says:

    dawgman, I didn’t see a problem with Lee seeing over the line but I did see Wes getting a lot of balls hit at the line of scrimmage. He even hit one guy in the helmet. It’s just a matter of finding lanes to pass through.

  24. thespear Says:

    Brad, I totally agree with you on Tyson’s slide. That was a smart decision most ppl don’t understand. While he is quick and good on his feet(check his icc tapes) he cant shake two or three defenders on the sideline. The slide also meant he stayed in bounds to keep the clock running, which would have made it a difficult score for Tech if the punt and coverage weren’t so horrible. That dead drive was the coaches fault…. Tryin to run Dixon wide on the first 2 plays from the half yard line.

    The game changing moment was the punt return and proceeding socre in the final minutes of the 1st half

  25. thespear Says:

    chris, I agree with you on tyson’s vision…. Tyson is an extremely smart player and pretty athletic too. Let him settle in guys and he might just impress a few of you. Careful needs to put this one behind him and study the tapes, he had some good plays but tried to force too many shots over the middle

  26. thespear Says:

    Carroll not careful*

    sorry for all the posts Brad!

  27. carwwest Says:

    lee just looked slow in his drop and center-QB exchange…and i just watched that replay of lee’s slide…he could have made it, no doubt….i mean we can agree to disagree but carroll’s confidence is shaken now and this 2 QB system will not work…lee didnt look as comfortable and they only let him through little swing passes and a slant…im hoping carroll’s best games are yet to come and not already in the books….why was elliott suspended??…and can we get jackson state’s punter on our team this season!?!?…he looks better than mcadams…

  28. nashdawg Says:

    Lee is not at the mental level to play Div I football. It’s evident when you see a qb slide down, short of the 1st down marker and with your opposing team player coming up behind you! There was a whole field in front of him. But, p don’t blame him entirely. I blame our weak game coaching staff who put him into play. Carroll was off. Run Dixon until he can’t run no more! Croom has the WCO down on paper; he and Woody just can’t execute it in a game! Sorry, but after 5 years.. There is no excuse .

  29. imabulldog Says:

    I said it last nite I’ll say it again- that was a game that we win with last years offense. Just run it- sure win

  30. nashdawg Says:

    Oh, one more thing, it’s the easy route to discipline a player by simply benching him. The hard route is taking corrective action while maintaining the benefit of the player for the team!

  31. biloxi13 Says:

    B. O. H. I. C. A.

  32. imabulldog Says:

    This team isnt done, eventhough I wasnt in the locker room after the game, I can see all our boys uniting to not lose another game because of a few mental lapses of judgement.

    Brad, no post game quotes???

    Even States site did not have any. Can you give us anything?

    If not, maybe during this week you can give us a heads up on what CC is working on, who he is working on, etc

  33. carwwest Says:

    im with you nash…there are no more excuses….croom is going to have to come to terms and realize woody cant cut it…bottom line….i dont think the team is done but they are going to have to progress leaps and bounds in order to win some sec games….

  34. spaceghost1 Says:

    imabulldog, why do you think that? I hope you’re right, but that was a pretty demoralizing loss to a lowly WAC team. We’re not talking about a loss to LSU. Croom is going to have to dig deep to get this team back on track.

  35. imabulldog Says:

    I think the coaches and the offensive players both know, they all tried to do too much. All we had to do was run the ball, Dixon avg 5 a carry-wear him our give it to Ducre, wear him out and pass it. I think them knowing that they got too cute with the ball hurt us. Another thing, if Piggy was playing-you don’t give up fumbled kicks on your own 9 and 13 yard lines. I think they know where they are at-and where they could be. Its a step back, but this team has already shown enough potential to bounce back.
    We’ll be a different team next week and against Auby-I promise.

    By the way, I said it a week ago-Brandon McCrae was my darkhorse selection to make a big impact on the O, he is a stud. WR’s looked great unitl Bell dropped the ball at the end. This team will get stronger

  36. Brad Locke Says:

    Sorry about no quotes. Most of the ones I got – well, that Gregg fetched for me since it was late – were in my stories. I’ll try to post some next time. I’m looking forward to going down there tomorrow.

  37. carwwest Says:

    ima, i agree the wide outs did look better than last year…mcrae looked like a stud and im glad he is only a junior….he should have gotten more touches though….delmon robinson did some nice things as a true freshman….look forward to seeing both of them again…

  38. bikerdawg Says:

    Report Card:

    Offense C- Little protection on pass, few holes on runs. Passing inconsistent. Runs inconsistent. Dixon still likes to jitterbug and run E/W. Dropped passes. Unable to hit players wide open. A little more diversity in plays

    Defense D+ Let a WAC team push them around and never really got much pressure on QB.

    Special Teams F Kicking was terrible. Will we ever find a punter? Coverage was okay. Returns from bad to worse.

    La Tech A/B WAC team D level SEC team.

    Officials C+/B- Ticky tacky on a couple but we committed mistakes that helped kill us. Late hit out of bounds when player is standing on white area is inexcusable. Horsecollar, kind of like facemask, once you have your hand there, almost impossible to get it out.

    Prognosis: Unless something changes, a loooooooong, humbling year for the Bulldog players and fans. Looks like another 3 – 9 year.

  39. imabulldog Says:

    bikerdawg, I’ll send you notice when get our bowl invitation

  40. farley662 Says:

    Man ima, you drank the whole pitcher of Kool-Aid didn’t ya?

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