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
Running back Josh Robinson
Sophomore * 5-9 * 225 * Franklinton, La.
Rushing: 17 carries for 101 yards Receiving: two catches for 17 yards
Logan’s take: Robinson sat out the entire first half after missing practice earlier in the week. But he came on with a vengeance in the second half ripping off a 23-yard run on his first carry. Robinson was MSU’s first back to eclipse the 100-yard plateau this season. Not only did he do all of that in just two quarters, he also served as Damian Williams’ lead blocker on the game-winning 25-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Safety Nickoe Whitley
Senior * 6-1 * 205 * Jackson, Miss.
Defense: 10 tackles (five solo, five assists), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery
Logan’s take: Whitley has been suspect in coverage the past two seasons and really hasn’t been the same player since returning from his Achilles injury. However Whitley’s 14 career interceptions are tied for the most in major college football and is just two shy of the school record. Not only did he lead the team in tackles Saturday, the strip and fumble recovery of Alex Collins at the 9-yard line going in during the fourth quarter saved the game for the Bulldogs and sent it into overtime.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cornerback Tolando Cleveland
True freshman * 6-0 * 170 * Powder Springs, Ga.
Defense: Two tackles (one solo, one assist), one forced fumble
Logan’s take: When the Bulldogs tied the game with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter, my only thought was could they keep Arkansas from retaking the lead before halftime. Apparently, Cleveland was thinking differently forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff which was recovered by Beniquez Brown at the UA 34-yard line. That gave State an opportunity at a score before halftime which they fumbled away at the goal line.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Quarterback Damian Williams
True freshman * 6-1 * 230 * Metarie, La.
Logan’s take: A few weeks ago I thought that Williams’ chances at playing again were over with the opponents the Bulldogs had remaining. Little did I know that he would very much become the focal point for the last three games. Williams isn’t ready but has been forced into action due to injury and has handled himself well in the face of adversity. He didn’t take many snaps against the Razorbacks but the 25-yard run he made in overtime for the game-winning touchdown was a heck of an effort by him and his blockers.
COACH OF THE WEEK
Logan’s take: Knox’s running back group is deep and combined for 26 carries and 146 yards on the ground against Arkansas. Additionally, the backs had five catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Knox had an experienced group returning and did not seem to miss a beat when LaDarius Perkins went down with an injury in the second quarter.