Mississippi State started slow as it opened SEC play against the visiting LSU Tigers before staging a comeback effort that fell just short as LSU ultimately came away with the 28-25 victory.
There were some disappointing moments and missed opportunities for the Bulldogs, who also had some turnover issues that proved costly during the game -- one of which head coach Mike Leach said was a product of bad ball security and one of which was deemed a bad read.
Despite this, there were still some bright spots and there's clearly a promising foundation to build on here.
Here's a look at three players who stood out from Saturday:
1. WR Makai Polk.
Polk was a player who impressed all of us during fall camp, and he's continued to do so through the first four games of the season. Polk finished out this past weekend's outing with a total of eight receptions on 11 targets with 78 yards and one touchdown. He was one of three players to come away with a receiving touchdown on the day -- the others were wide receiver Austin Williams and running back Jo'quavious Marks. Through four contests in 2021, Polk currently ranks first in the SEC in total receptions (33) and fifth in the conference in receiving yards (304).
2. RB Jo'quavious "Woody" Marks.
The Air Raid offense builds versatile running backs, something that's demanded at the next level where several NFL teams use all-purpose backs. Marks played a part in both the passing game and the ground game, totaling nine receptions -- reeling in all nine targets -- for 67 yards with one touchdown, also carrying the ball eight times for 51 yards. Bulldogs rusher Dillon Johnson had a similar rate of efficiency, reeling in nine of 12 targets for 58 yards, also with eight carries for 51 yards.
3. CB Emmanuel Forbes Jr.
MSU headed into the season slated to have one of the more impressive secondaries in the nation, and Forbes was a big part of the reasoning behind that. He was a large factor the Bulldogs' defensive effort Saturday before having to leave with an injury late in the game, recording four total tackles (two solo) with one important interception that put an end to an LSU drive that packed momentum, to go along with one pass breakup.