By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Tim Brewster is already trying to put his stamp on Mississippi State’s receiving corps, and early returns suggest it’s working.
Brewster, hired less than two weeks ago to replace Angelo Mirando, now has one game under his belt in Starkville. MSU thumped Jackson State, 56-9, on Saturday, and the receivers’ performance left Brewster with little to complain about.
State had 183 yards passing, with eight receivers catching passes. Six players had at least two receptions, and nobody had more than three. And there were zero drops.
“I thought it was an incremental step towards what I want,” Brewster said. “I want us to be more physical in the run game, I want us to be better blockers, and then the catches are going to come.
“The big plays in the passing game are going to come. But I want our guys to kind of take a hard-hat mentality to the game.”
The sure-handedness of MSU’s receivers could become a trademark this fall. Seniors Arceto Clark and Chris Smith have already established reputations as sticky-fingered ball catchers, and on Saturday, sophomores Brandon Hill (a tight end) and Jameon Lewis made nice snags.
After reviewing the tape, the only thing close to a drop that head coach Dan Mullen could find was a play on which Jackson State was flagged for pass interference.
Holding onto the ball is a point of pride for the receivers.
“All offseason that’s mostly what we talked about – we wanted to eliminate drops and make the play when our number was called,” Chad Bumphis said. “The first game we did it.”
Sign your name
One thing Brewster is trying to do is make sure his players take pride in the position they play, and he wants them to own their game.
“I talk to my players about signing their name to their performance, and what does your name mean to you,” he said. “You’ve got to take a great deal of pride in everything that you do. Never take a lazy step on the football field, that’s something that I live by as a coach.”
That’s something MSU’s receivers haven’t heard before. That’s according to sophomore Jameon Lewis, who had three catches for 32 yards against JSU.
“That was something new, because that was my first time hearing it, but when he told us that, it’s like, powerful,” Lewis said. “Everything you do, it’s you. Whatever you put on film, that’s who you are.”
Said Bumphis, “Every day they tell us, when we go out and practice and play, we put our rampésumampé together when we’re on the field, and you want to make sure that when other people watch you, they know they’re going to go against somebody good, and they know what they’re going to get.”