Shumpert Back in the End Zone Once Again

On just four Saturday carries, Ashton Shumpert led all Mississippi State rushers with 82 yards and a touchdown. Shumpert did the heavy lifting with a 59 yard jaunt on the first offensive series for back-up signal caller Damian Williams. The scoring run was the first of the season for Shumpert. As a freshman, #32 found the endzone three times all in short yardage.

Ashton Shumpert profile

This time, Shumpert had the chance to really stretch his legs and bring the Davis Wade Stadium crowd to their feet as he took an inside hand off and sprinted to the end zone.

Quick to brush aside any talk of personal accomplishment, Shumpert chose to keep the spotlight on the team as a whole.

"It always feels good when we get a touchdown no matter who it is," explained the Fulton, Mississippi native.

The play that caused the biggest sense of personal joy was when the talented sophomore was able to lower his shoulder and run over and through a pair of Tennessee-Martin defenders.

"I have been kind of waiting to do that all season," said Shumpert with a smile. "That felt pretty good."

Non-conference games late in the season slate are often opportunities to get reps for a lot of players and save some wear and tear on the usual work horses.

Shumpert reports that there was no advanced warning of Josh Robinson's early departure from Saturday's 45-16 homecoming win.

"I didn't know until it happened," Shumpert said. "(Josh) is full strength. He just has some nicks and bruises. We just don't want it to be major. We were trying to get him to play, at least I was."

The Bulldog offensive line saw Justin Malone's name missing from the dress list, which provided another starting opportunity for Devon Desper. Shumpert reports that the team saw no lack of production up front even when several other names were inserted into the mix.

"We have a lot of people with the potential to start. It was just like a starter was in," deadpanned Shumpert.

One could understand if the Bulldogs were guilty of a little advanced focus about next week's trip to Tuscaloosa and annual foe Alabama, but Shumpert reports that the next game is the biggest game, because it is the next game.

"It doesn't feel any different," said Shumpert of the SEC Western division tilt. "It's just another game. They say we might be the underdogs. That might help us play better.

"I hope we are. It will just make the game that much better."

While Shumpert is saying all of the right things, it is clear that he knows the magnitude of what a win over Alabama would mean to the season and program as a whole.

"We have what, three games left," mused Shumpert. "The season is about to be over. We are just going to play hard, because we aren't going to get this chance again."

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