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, freshman and coach of the week were from the Northwestern State game.
Wide receiver Donald Gray
Sophomore *5-10 * 193 * Memphis, Tenn.
Receiving: four catches for 140 yards, one touchdown
Logan’s take: I expected Gray to be a major contributor in the Bulldogs passing game this season but he hadn’t caught anything the first two weeks. That certainly changed on Saturday as he hauled in the first four passes of his career – two of which were spectacular. I still don’t know how he contorted his body on the 45-yard reception that set the school’s all-time passing mark for Dak Prescott and drew pass interference on top of that. This performance should go a long way to boost his confidence moving forward.
Safety Jamal Peters
True freshman * 6-2 * 206 * Bassfield, Miss.
Defense: four tackles (three solo, one assist), 1 ½ tackles for loss, one sack
Logan’s take: Fans that have been begging to see the former high school All-American play some safety got their wish on Saturday. Peters has been one of the Bulldogs best special teams performers this year on kickoff coverage and made two big stops in that capacity as well. He also had one of four team sacks against NSU and certainly has a bright future ahead of him.
Wide receiver Gabe Myles
Sophomore * 6-0 * 192 * Starkville, Miss.
Rushing: two carries for 15 yards, one touchdown Receiving: two catches for 58 yards, one touchdown Kickoff return: one return for 38 yards Punt return: three fair catches
Logan’s take: Myles came close to scoring on so many occasions last year that it became a running joke on the team about how many times he was stopped short of the goal line. Not anymore. Myles scored his first two touchdowns in two different ways and also added a nice 38-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Myles may also get more looks on punt return moving forward after Fred Ross lost his second fumble in three weeks in that role.
Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald
Redshirt freshman * 6-5 * 227 * Richmond Hill, Ga.
Passing: 4 of 4 passes for 90 yards, one touchdown Rushing: five carries for 28 yards, two touchdowns
Logan’s take: It would have been hard for Fitzgerald to be much more efficient than he was in just his second career appearance. He accounted for a touchdown on all three drives he was in the game and finished with a quarterback rating of 371.5. Fitzgerald flew under the radar in recruiting but Dan Mullen felt he found a good one when he arrived at camp that summer and so far it’s certainly looking so.
Logan’s take: I’ve covered a lot of football over the last 11 years and I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a game where quarterbacks had more touchdown passes than incompletions. But that’s just what Johnson’s signal callers did on Saturday completing 16 of 18 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns. They also added 89 yards rushing and two more scores as well. It was the first time in 25 years that Mississippi State had three quarterbacks throw a touchdown in the same game. I know Bulldog fans will want to enjoy Dak Prescott while he’s still in Starkville but there will be a highly contested competition at quarterback starting in the spring.