Blog Bag Answers: One, Two, Five … Three, Sir!

Time for the final Blog Bag answers of the year. Only three questions, but three is a good number. And it reminded me of this classic movie.


Q: Any hunches on which juniors may enter the NFL Draft? From what I’m reading, it kind of sounds like Gabe Jackson may be going.

A: I’m not so sure about Jackson going. The offensive guard has submitted paperwork to the NFL in order to get feedback, and he should get a good draft grade. But he won’t be a first-round guy, so his best option might be to come back, because I think Jackson could move into first-round consideration for the 2014 draft.

Q: It looks like Jonathan Banks will be a first-rounder, making it three years in a row that State has had a first-round choice. Any possible breakout players for the 2013 season who could make it four first-rounders in a row in the 2014 draft?

A: As mentioned above, if Jackson returns he could fall into that category. Otherwise, it’s hard to day. Any candidates would have to up their game considerably next season to enter that conversation, but one possibility might be defensive end Denico Autry. He’s got the talent, and he has started to really grasp what it takes to be an elite SEC end. Maybe quarterback Tyler Russell, too, but he would really need to light it up, and a lot of receivers are leaving.

Q: What are the odds we have some coordinator change in the offseason, especially if we lose the bowl game? If we come out flat and get destroyed in the bowl game, then that falls 100 percent on the coaches, and I’d think changes have to be made.

A: If a change is going to be made, the bowl game won’t  be – and shouldn’t be – the determining factor. Because in the end, it’s just an exhibition game. I don’t foresee Dan Mullen firing either offensive coordinator Les Koenning or defensive coordinator Chris Wilson; if he were going to do that, I think he would’ve done so by now.

I am the online content coordinator for 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).

Posted in Football
  • how bad will Mullen let our defense get before he fires someone? and how close is Wilson to that threshold? a lot of people see a gap between our defensive talent and our defensive performance.

    • MabenMaroon

      I’m not sure that there is a whole lot of folks who detect a gap between talent and performance. We had a couple of top-notch cb’s, a solid veteran lb, an up and coming All- SEC type lb, and a solid run stopping type dt, the rest of the defense played average at best. Don’t know if we got all we could out of their talent or not. Do know that there were an awful lot of blown coverages and missed assignments on defense. My suspicions are that it was due to lack of experience due to youth. There was a lot of talent that red-shirted this year that could of played and contributed this year, that decision came from both the players and the coaching staff, might have made a difference in one game, maybe. I strongly feel that was a very good decision on the part of both the players and the coaches and we will reap mega benefits from that starting next season. In short, we just didn’t have the horses available this year to play the kind of defense that would have been successful against some of the teams we lost to. Firing coaches is not the answer when you are trying to build depth and experience in a program such as ours, that would be trying to quick fix something that really requires time, practice, experience and depth.

      • ezfreeze

        I totally agree with your assessment MM…The defensive line took a step back when Cox was drafted… They tried to hype up Boyd as the next guy, but that didn’t happen…

        Next year the talent level should have a step up… And we should see a step up on the performance of the defensive line…

  • dawghappy

    I strongly .disagree with you MM. Our talent level was at least as good as that of TSUN and you see what they did to our the last game. We were out coached and outplayed at every turn. Compare our performance with that of TSUN against BAMA,LSU and TA&M. We were completely mismatched in those games from a coaching standpoint. Yes, they had more talent, but we were unable to even slow them down. The TSUN kept them interesting with roughly the same talent levels..This tells me the coaches failed to do their jobs. I hold the coordinators accountable. If Mullen doesn’t make the needed changes, we are headed back to the Croom era.

    • MabenMaroon

      You are making my point for me. Only one of the td catches by TSUN was not the result of a busted coverage. The same goes for the TAMU game. In the LSU game there was a crucial, momentum type mistake, by a freshman running back late in the first half, there are many other examples that could be cited. Many of the busted plays are the types that make the difference in winning and closing games. We could have the best coordinators available on our staff, but if the players do not execute what they have been coached and taught to do, it won’t matter, the result will be a successful play for the opposition. Most of the mistakes were by either an inexperienced youthful player or by a veteran, who was the best we had available at that position, taking a gamble, trying to be a hero or just not focusing on his particular responsibilty on that play.
      Our d-line was somewhat solid but we did not have a difference maker as in Fletcher Cox and we did not have the solid, smart type play at safety that Charles Mitchell provided us. From hearing what members of the team are saying, potential game changing talent was red-shirted at both areas was mentioned and the value of experience gained from being on the scout teams, both aforementioned areas of play will be substantialy boosted this year. Now if results are similar in the upcoming year, at that point in time I think it would be prudent to look at some staff adjustment or changes.
      HAIL STATE!!!! GO DAWGS!!!! and more importantly… MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!!!!


        Respect your thoughts MM. I hope you are correct on future talent. However, I’m not a wait til next year and things will get better type. I see a problem with a passive defense that can’t stop the run or a good passing attack either. On the offensive side. I know we are lacking a good power tailback, but I simply fail to see any imagination in our offense in using the talent we have in speed and quickness. To have an DC to readily admit that we have a problem with opponents that use an up tempo offense and to fail to address the issue is beyond me. If that in itself, isn’t enough reason to make the change, I don’t know what it takes! I see the need to make the fix now, not a year or so down the road. GO DAWGS!!!! LET’S TAKE IT TO NORTHWESTERN!!!!

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