Logan’s Heroes: Troy

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 Troy game.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

nick fitzgerald mugQuarterback Nick Fitzgerald

Redshirt Freshman *6-5 * 227 Richmond Hill, Ga.

Passing: 6 of 7 for 141 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions Rushing: eight carries for 29 yards, one touchdown

Logan’s take: Bulldog fans perhaps got a glimpse of the future Saturday as Fitzgerald took all but 16 snaps as the team’s signal caller. Fitzgerald fared quite well and appeared poised leading the offense. He came to MSU as a runner but his arm has quickly caught up with his legs over this first year and a half on campus. The quarterback competition will be fun to watch starting in spring but performances like Saturday will help Fitzgerald’s case to be the starter next year.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

ryan brown mugDefensive end Ryan Brown

Senior * 6-6 * 266New Orleans, La.

Defense: seven tackles (three solo, four assists), 3 1/2 tackles for loss, one sack, one pass deflection

Logan’s take: I’ve been waiting on Brown to have a breakout game this season and Saturday was probably one the best game’s he’s played in his career. Not only did he have a great individual performance but as the leader of the defensive line he also deserves credit for how the entire line did overall. I actually thought Brown should have been credited with another sack during the third quarter but it only went down as a tackle for loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

fred ross mugWide receiver Fred Ross

Junior * 6-2 * 207 Tyler, Texas

Receiving: two catches for 64 yards, one touchdown Punt returns: three returns for 75 yards, one touchdown

Logan’s take: Ross has been solid catching the football all season but hadn’t been able to get in the end zone but he changed that quickly on just the second play from scrimmage, catching a 59-yard touchdown from Dak Prescott. Later in the first quarter, he had an incredible 77-yard punt return for a score which was a strong sign after a shaky start in the return game at the beginning of the season.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK

brandon bryant mugSafety Brandon Bryant

Redshirt freshman * 5-11 * 205 * Tunica, Miss.

Defense: four tackles (three solo, one assist), one tackle for loss, one sack, one forced fumble

Logan’s take: Bryant made an early impact in his first career start. On Troy’s third play from scrimmage, Bryant came on a safety blitz to sack Brandon Silvers and dislodged the ball in the process. The ball went sailing into the end zone where Nelson Adams fell on it for a touchdown to put MSU ahead 14-0 less than two minutes into the game. Quite a statement by Bryant who will be starting for the injured Kendrick Market the rest of the season.

COACH OF THE WEEK

david turnerDavid Turner

Defensive line

Goldston, N.C.

Logan’s take: The Bulldogs’ defense brought the thunder holding Troy at or behind the line of scrimmage on 19 of its 37 plays during the first half. This was especially true along the defensive line. Turner’s group accounted for 9 ½ tackles for loss, 1 ½ sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the game. It has taken a few games to get some experience and the rotation down but State is looking strong along its defensive front.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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