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.
Running back Josh Robinson
Junior * 5-9 * 215 * Franklinton, La.
Rushing: 20 carries for 124 yards, one touchdown Receiving: one catch for six yards
Logan’s take: For the second week in a row, Josh Robinson earns the Offensive Player of the Week for his consistent play. Robinson has rushed the ball extremely hard so far this season and rarely goes down on initial contact. With his low center of gravity, he is a small target and therefore difficult to tackle.He appears to have separated himself from the rest of the backfield, but like so many other position he continues to be split time.
Defensive end Preston Smith
Senior * 6-6 * 270 * Stone Mountain, Ga.
Defense: five tackles (two solo, three assists), one tackle for loss, one interception returned 21 yards for a touchdown.
Logan’s take: Preston Smith also repeats as Defensive Player of the Week making his second interception in as many weeks. Against Southern Miss he returned the pick down to the 4-yard line but this time he snagged a one-handed interception and returned it 21-yards for the score. Smith is playing at an extremely high level to start the year and has NFL written all over him. He has been difficult to block and I wouldn’t doubt opposing quarterbacks have had nightmares about No. 91 the last two weekends.
Safety Kivon Coman
Sophomore * 6-3* 195 * Sheffield, Ala.
Special teams: one blocked punt
Logan’s take: MSU was clinging to a 26-20 lead as the third quarter got underway. The Bulldogs defense forced a three-and-out and UAB’s punting unit was brought out. Kivon Coman came in and blocked Hunter Mullins punt and it was recovered by Nick Griffin at the 20-yard line. The good field position set up a Dak Prescott 4-yard touchdown three plays later and State cruised from there.
Punt returner Jamoral Graham
True freshman * 5-10 * 170 * Decatur, Miss.
Punt returns: two returns for 22 yards, two fair catches
Logan’s take: Normally having a true freshman back returning punts is not an ideal situation. But Jamoral Graham looked like a natural back there even though he was making his collegiate debut. He fielded four punts cleanly and averaged 11 yards on the two he returned. He still danced around more than my liking but on those two punt returns he gained almost half of the yards Jameon Lewis did last season.
Co-Offensive coordinator/ running game / offensive line
Logan’s take: John Hevesy’s offensive line appeared to be much more improved and gelled in Week 2 and surrendered just one sack. They also paved the way for the Bulldogs to rush for 292 yards including two backs to eclipse the 100-yard plateau. The offensive line is one of the team’s thinnest units so it will be imperative to keep the starters healthy while making sure to work in the backups without hurting the line’s cohesiveness.