The Southeastern Conference named running back Josh Robinson the co-Offensive Player of the Week; and defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls the defensive lineman of the Week. For both Bulldogs it was their first league OTW awards.
Robinson was expected to score one of these honors after a 198-yard, two-touchdown performance in Mississippi State’s 45-31 victory at Kentucky. The junior back topped his previous career-best rushing total though only by a yard, as he gained 197 at LSU a month ago. Robinson averaged nearly nine yards a carry against the Wildcats with a string of double-digit-yard gains, most notably his 73-yard touchdown burst in the fourth quarter.
But while the SEC doesn’t give OTW honors on style points, Robinson’s 23-yard ramble in the third quarter where he bounced off just about every Kentucky defender has been a replay regular since Saturday. Robinson has 887 yards through seven games and leads the SEC for another week in average. If he keeps up his usual game-pace will become the eighth Bulldog with 1,000 rushing yards in a season one day into November.
The trip to Lexington gave Eulls a chance to grab some spotlight too. He posted five official tackles but two were sacks of quarterback Patrick Towles for loss of 15 net yards. To put his 2.0 sacks in perspective, in Eulls’ prior 45 career games he had 1.5 total sacks.
Eulls has 22 total tackles this season, reflecting the regular rotation of Dog defensive linemen that limits chances for big stats. But in the second half and especially the fourth quarter at Kentucky, even when the ‘1B’ line was used starter Eulls usually stayed on the field.
So now six Mississippi State players have earned a combined ten SEC Of The Week awards. Three of these belong to defensive end Preston Smith, the defensive lineman OTW, who got all of them in the first three weekends of the season.
The only disappointment was a deserving Dog didn’t get the league’s special teams recognition. With the game still undecided and Kentucky within a touchdown, linebacker Christian ‘Turtle’ Holmes fielded an expected on-sides kickoff. Then he did the un-expected by returning it 61 yards for a touchdown. It wasn’t enough to win any SEC award though, as it was given to a punter instead.
Bulldogs winning SEC OTW awards so far this season: August 31 Preston Smith defensive lineman; September 8 Smith defensive lineman; September 15 Smith defensive lineman; September 22 Dak Prescott offensive player, Ben Beckwith offensive lineman; October 6 Ben Beckwith offensive lineman, Richie Brown defensive player; October 27 Josh Robinson co-offensive player, Kaleb Eulls defensive lineman.