Throughout the season, Mississippi State’s offense has floundered. The Bulldogs have struggled to pick up what Mike Leach has wanted to do with the Air Raid. But, over the past couple of weeks, it seems as if State is adapting and is finally able to get its offense going.
With true freshman quarterback Will Rogers leading the Bulldogs, Leach’s offense is finally producing yards and points for Mississippi State.
Rogers’ most impressive performance came in a loss to the Ole Miss Rebels in the Egg Bowl. The young quarterback completed 45 of his 61 pass attempts (73.8%) for 440 yards and three touchdowns. Mississippi State’s offensive line was able to give Rogers time to read the Ole Miss defense and dissect it.
And it worked! In Oxford, Rogers was able to connect time and time again with his receivers.
Do away with some bad luck that turned what could have been a MSU touchdown into a fumble which ultimately resulted in an Ole Miss score and State likely wins this game because of how well Rogers, MSU’s offensive line, and the Bulldogs’ receivers performed.
It should be noted that Ole Miss has a dreadful defense, but what Rogers did was considerably better than what most quarterbacks have done against the Rebels this season. Following the Egg Bowl, the Ole Miss defense allows an average of 310.6 passing yards and a pair of passing touchdowns per game.
While some will likely continue to point at how poorly the Ole Miss defense plays, Rogers also excelled the week before against a much tougher defense in a more difficult place to play.
Against the No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia the week before the Egg Bowl, Rogers had a really solid performance. Mississippi State went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country largely due to how well Rogers played.
State’s young quarterback completed 41 of his 52 passing attempts (78.8%) for 336 yards and a touchdown. He was precise. He was efficient. He was what Mississippi State needed to be able to compete against Georgia.
And again, UGA has a really good defense. Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs hold opposing quarterbacks to 224.5 passing yards per game, a completion percentage of 56.5%, and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
In back-to-back weeks, Rogers has completed 86 passes with a 76.1% completion percentage and has thrown for 776 yards and 4 touchdowns. His performances against Georgia and Ole Miss are great examples for Mississippi State fans, as well as the rest of the SEC, as to how good Leach’s offense can be.
It’s not there yet. The Bulldogs still have plenty of growing to do. But, with Rogers, and the talented pieces around him, MSU’s future sure seems much brighter than it did a month or so ago.