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October 31, 2011
BulldogBlitz Players of the Week
After 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:
Quarterback Tyler Russell
Sophomore * 6-4 * 220 * Meridian, Miss.
Passing: 9-of-12 for 172 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions Rushing: two carries for six yards
Logan's take: Mississippi State was balanced across the board offensively on Saturday so there was not really one individual player that stood head and shoulders above everyone else. With that being said, I felt Russell was the glue that held the offense together. I'm not sure Chris Relf would have enjoyed the same type of success he had without Russell's passing threat. I thought the coaching staff did an incredible job managing both quarterbacks and proved interchanging a quarterback within a series can and will work.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox
Junior * 6-4 * 295 * Yazoo City, Miss.
Defense: Seven tackles (five solo, two assists), 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks
Logan's take: Cox was named as the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the third game in a row. He lived in the backfield Saturday night taking out Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton in the first quarter and then sacking backup Maxwell Smith on the very next play. Cox is really starting to come into his own as a player and has NFL written all over him. Luckily for MSU fans Cox has said he wants to stick around another year and get his degree. He just keeps getting better and better each week.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Cornerback Jamerson Love
Redshirt freshman * 5-10 * 175 * Aberdeen, Miss.
Special Teams: Four tackles (three solo, one assist)
Logan's take: Watching Love early on in his career at MSU he didn't seem to like contact very much. But he has really evolved over the last year and made three of his four tackles on special teams Saturday. Having covered him in high school, I knew how fast and explosive he can be and it's definitely good to see him start to play well on special teams as well as in the secondary. If Love can continue to improve this much over the next three years he will become a household name for Bulldog fans.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Tight end Malcolm Johnson
Redshirt freshman * 6-2 * 225 * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Receiving: Three catches for 42 yards, one touchdown
Logan's take: Now that he is healthy Johnson has been able to showcase the talents that I was able to see his senior year of high school and redshirt year on the practice field. Johnson has an incredible set of hands and is the tight end that Russell likes to on third down situations. As he continues to transition from wide receiver to tight end his playing time and role will increase more and more. This kid is going to be special and it couldn't happen to a better person.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Tight ends coach Scott Sallach
Logan's take: I'm pretty positive this is the first time I've selected the tight ends coach as my Coach of the Week since I started doing this four years ago. Sallach had his tight ends ready to go Saturday and both Johnson and Marcus Green finished as the Bulldogs leading two receivers combining for five catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. The tight ends have disappeared at times this season in the passing game but Russell has shown over the last three years that he likes to utilize the tight end. It's vital for Sallach to continue to develop this young unit especially if Russell is going to be the starter for the next two-plus seasons.