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January 3, 2012After each win, BulldogBlitz recognizes several players that had outstanding performances that played a major role in Mississippi State's win. Go inside to see who publisher Logan Lowery chose as the offensive, defensive, special teams, freshman and coach of the week were.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Running back Vick Ballard
Senior * 5-11 * 215 * Pascagoula, Miss.
Rushing: 14 carries for 180 yards, two touchdowns Receiving: two catches for nine yards
Logan's take: Ballard has been a workhorse for the Bulldogs the past two seasons but I've always felt like he's had more to give when the clock hit 0:00 only he didn't get the opportunities to do so. Even after 14 carries for a school bowl record 180 yards I felt like Ballard was still fresh. On his two touchdown runs there was no doubt that he was taking it to the end zone as soon as he hit the line of scrimmage. His early fumble was very uncharacteristic but it seemed to make him mad and I think the rest of the game is a result of that anger.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Cornerback Corey Broomfield
Junior * 5-10 * 180 * Palm Bay, Fla.
Defense: Nine solo tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack
Logan's take: Broomfield went the entire 2011 season without an interception but he certainly made his presence known Friday night in the bowl game. Broomfield isn't the biggest or the most physically intimidating player but stuck his nose in there and made nine solo tackles. He also brought some heat off the edge and made a career-high two stops for loss and a sack. With his partner Johnthan Banks likely going pro it will be up to Broomfield to become that lock down corner the Bulldogs need.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox
Junior * 6-4 * 295 *Yazoo City, Miss.
Defense: Seven tackles (four solo, three assists), two tackles for loss, one sack and one blocked field goal
Logan's take: Cox could have very easily been named the defensive player of the game as well. He lived in the Wake Forest backfield and opened up a lot of things for the rest of the defense. But it was his blocked field goal early in the second quarter that gave the Bulldogs momentum to take the lead. With the Bulldogs trailing 7-6, he blasted through to block a 33-yard field goal not only keeping the Demon Deacons from taking a 10-6 lead, it led to a MSU touchdown two plays later.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Wide receiver Jameon Lewis
Redshirt freshman * 5-9 * 185 *Tylertown, Miss.
Kickoff returns: Three kickoff returns for 93 yards
Logan's take: Lewis hasn't made much of an impact this season since the opener against Memphis. His returns haven't been that good and he usually goes down on first contact. But Friday night he returned the opening kickoff 50 yards and showed the explosiveness the coaches have been looking for in the return game from him. After watching Lewis develop the last two years I believe he is poised to have a solid career at State.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Defensive coordinator/ defensive line coach Chris Wilson
Logan's take: Not only was the defense dominant against Wake Forest, Wilson's defensive line was the most impressive unit. The defense limited the Demon Deacons to only 287 yards despite playing 86 snaps. They got to the quarterback six times during the game with the defensive line accounting for four of those sacks. Much was made coming into this season about Manny Diaz's departure but I could not see any kind of drop-off in defensive production even with replacing three NFL players.