Opinion Offering: ‘Kick to the Butt’ Wakes Up Bulldogs

This week’s game: South Alabama (1-2) at No. 23 MSU (3-0), Saturday, 6 p.m., PPV (Bart Gregory and Jackie Sherrill)


After escaping Troy with a 30-24 win last weekend, MSU has a fresh perspective on what it means to be truly honed in on an opponent. In today’s opinion offering, I look at how that game – especially for the defense – served as a “kick to the butt,” as linebacker Cam Lawrence put it.

As I wrote in the column, I believe this game to be an anomaly – out of the norm, not something I expect to be repeated against this type of opponent. MSU has South Alabama this week, a team with a very similar offensive philosophy to Troy’s, although probably not with the same caliber of athlete (certainly not as many athletes).

The State offense needed a little jolt, too, after that game.

“Last game was a wake-up call for us,” quarterback Tyler Russell said. “Nobody’s going to give you anything. You gotta play every game. That’s one thing we tried to stress in the offseason. In recent years, we probably would have found a way to lose that game.”

Losing to Troy would have been a terrible blow for MSU, but it survived, and now it moves on. We spoke with Lawrence on Tuesday night, and he felt the defense’s struggles had more to do with MSU than with Troy.

“I really don’t think it was the tempo that got to us,” he said, “I think it was just the fact that we weren’t locked in and focused all throughout the week during practice.”

I’ve got some video of Lawrence below. Enjoy.


I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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  • MidTennDog

    I’m concerned because most of these players played in last year’s UAB & La Tech games. They barely won both of those games and not because those teams were almost on par with State. State will be heavily favored in three of their next four and should be somewhat favored over UT. They better bring it every game. Can’t let this schedule go to waste.

  • I was concerned at first but I realized that it looked like the coaching staff was determined to give some young guys a lot of playing time. I can appreciate giving young guys experience but maybe Troy’s tempo wasn’t allowing any flow on defense for MSU.

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