After each win, Logan Lowery of the Daily Journal recognizes several players and a coach that had outstanding performances and played a major role in Mississippi State’s victory. Check out who his offensive, defensive, special teams and coach of the week were.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior * 5-9 * 195 * Meridian, Miss.
Passing: 1 of 1 for 17 yards, one touchdown Rushing: two carries for 22 yards, one touchdown Receiving: seven catches for 53 yards, one touchdown Special Teams: one punt return for negative-1 yard; three kickoff returns for 47 yards
Logan’s take: For the second time this season, Lewis rushed, passed and caught a touchdown in a game. His versatility has definitely been one of the positives for the Bulldogs this season. “Tubby” had a couple of drops against Kentucky but was the biggest playmaker and without him the result would have been different. Lewis and I both thought he’d be a cornerback in college but he has been the go-to guy at receiver this year.
Defensive end Denico Autry
Senior * 6-6 * 265 * Albemarle, N.C.
Defense: five tackles (two solo, three assists), 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one pass breakup, one quarterback hurry
Logan’s take: I was expecting big things from Autry this fall after the strong finish he had to the 2012 season. But Autry had underachieved in my opinion through the first half of the year. I even asked him about it early last week and he admitted that he needed to turn things up with only a handful of games left. Autry certainly did that Thursday night terrorizing the quarterback all night and even notching his first sack of the season. I was coming back from the restroom when the sack was made and met two NFL scouts on their way out of the press box but both turned to see the sack and was their final play before leaving.
Safety Kendrick Market
Sophomore * 5-10 * 190 * Batesville, Miss.
Defense: six tackles (four solo, two assists), one pass breakup
Logan’s take: I really didn’t see too many positives among the special teams groups so I decided to go with another guy that I left impressed with on defense. I think Market had his best game to date and was all of the field making tackles against the Wildcats. Market made one big hit at the line of scrimmage to stop UK for no gain and also made a touchdown saving tackle as well. He had a golden opportunity for an interception on the final defensive play as well. Market’s exceptional play helped make up for the loss of Nickoe Whitley after being ejected just before halftime.
Offensive guard Jamaal Clayborn
True freshman * 6-4 * 320 * Jackson, Miss.
Logan’s take: It isn’t often that I go to an offensive lineman for a player of the week but Clayborn is certainly deserving. The true freshman made his collegiate debut on the second series of the game and played the rest of the way, holding his own out there. Clayborn came to MSU out of the Mississippi private school ranks but made the adjustment to the SEC quick enough to fill a need with Justin Malone out for the year and Ben Beckwith banged up at right guard. I’m sure the coaches hated to burn his redshirt this late into the year but I expect Clayborn to see solid time the rest of the way.
Bound Brook, N.J.
Logan’s take: Sallach’s squad enjoyed a strong night in the receiving category combining for six catches for 130 yards and a touchdown while averaging 21.6 yards a grab. Malcolm Johnson led the team with 79 receiving yards and a score while Artimas Samuel and Rufus Warren both recorded their first career catches. I’ve felt the tight end position has been underutilized in State’s offense so far this season so it was positive to see balls thrown their way on Thursday night and plays being made by multiple guys. Not bad for a coach whose on-field responsibilities were taken away briefly last winter and given to Tim Brewster.