Scouting Mississippi State Bulldogs Offense

Looking at the Mississippi State offense is like watching the show "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Or maybe it's more like the rhyme about the little girl with a curl right in the middle of her forehead. When they are good, they are very, very good, but when they are bad, they're horrid.

The difference is easy to spot when you look at the Bulldogs results. In three non-conference games, the Bulldogs have been spectacular, averaging 558 yards and 48 points. However, when it comes to competing in the SEC, it's a different story. In three SEC games the ‘Dogs are scoring just 15 points and gaining only 276 yards. Earlier this week Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen said his team has to adjust to the speed of the SEC after consecutive blowout wins over Alcorn State and Houston.

Just like last year the MSU spread option offense relies heavily on a single running back. This year it's Vick Ballard whose productivity mirrors that of the offense overall. In non-conference games Vick's numbers are really impressive (29-313, 8 TD) but in SEC play not so much (29-105, 3 TD). They have LaDarius Perkins (47-230, 2 TD) as a speedy guy off the bench, but the second leading runner is QB Chris Relf (65-295, 1 TD). Florida has seen several good running QB this year with mixed results, but they need to make certain to have a good day against Relf.

The main threat in the passing game is WR Chad Bumphis (32, 13.5, 4) who has more than twice as many catches as anyone else. Brandon Heavens (12, 15.6, 2) and Arceto Clark (11, 14.8, 1) are decent outside guys. The best news for the Gators is that none of State's primary receivers is taller than 6-1. Tall receivers have certainly hurt Florida this year.

The offensive line is big and competent. LT Derek Sherrod No. 79 is one of the best in the SEC and they will run left when they need a yard. Every player on the line is right around 300 pounds.

QB is shared by Relf (59%, 675, 5/3) and Tyler Russell (60%, 555, 4/5). Russell is the more natural passer and will go downfield more. We've already looked at what Relf can do. Florida has to know which QB is in there and apply pressure accordingly. Relf you want to keep in the pocket, but Russell is a guy you want to make move around even though he is a pretty decent runner.

Overall, this is a pretty decent offensive team, maybe a little better than Tennessee but not as good as the last three teams Florida has faced.

Tomorrow, we check out the Bulldogs defense and special teams.

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