Mississippi State played in yet another back-and-forth game this afternoon. And once again, it really should not have been as close as it was in the fourth quarter.
Here's a look into three things we took away from the game.
Will Rogers has played okay, but there’s quite a bit of room for improvement
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers has had three whole games to showcase his skills within this Air Raid offense.
And he's accomplished absolutely nothing in that span.
Sure, a 2-1 record with inflated stats will tell you otherwise. But, if you know the scheme that Mike Leach wants to run, you know that Will Rogers doesn't get the job done. And more importantly, he has yet to show that he can make the players around him better. I wonder if he may make the guys around him worse, to be honest.
This Mississippi State offense will never reach its ceiling with a quarterback who doesn't understand the basics of the scheme. Consistent check downs to running backs are not on the play sheet, I promise you that.
A quarterback who understands the offensive scheme is needed for this Mississippi State offense to truly reach its full potential.
Regardless of the 2-1 record, Mike Leach should consider a change soon.
The defense isn't playing to their potential
Don't get me wrong, I have a much bigger issue with this offense than I do with the defense. But, I believe this defensive unit could play much better if certain players executed their role more consistently.
We've seen big play after big play far too often. And the competition is only going to get tougher moving forward.
At the end of the day, I question whether this defense can hold a real offense to less than 30 points. That is not a recipe for success in the SEC.
The offensive line is improving
As the season has progressed, this Mississippi State offensive line has continued to improve. Will Rogers has had plenty of time to make plays in the pocket, and I expect that to continue.
Seasoned veterans like Charles Cross have done a nice job of protecting their quarterback. And in Mike Leach's Air Raid scheme, providing the quarterback with time to throw is absolutely critical.
If Rogers remains the quarterback in Mississippi State, the offensive line will need to continue to provide him with time to operate in the pocket.
After three games, Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is probably frustrated.
And I don't blame him.