By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Chad Bumphis and Marcus Green have had some forgettable times at Mississippi State, and they haven’t always been there in the big moments.
For different reasons, usually. Bumphis, who starred at Tupelo High School, has not become the SEC game-breaker some people predicted he’d be. Green has battled injury after injury.
Both are seniors who have taken very different paths to where they are now, and both turned in their most important performances to date in Saturday’s 28-10 win over Auburn.
Bumphis made three catches for 47 yards and caught the go-ahead touchdown pass in the third quarter. His first catch was a 17-yarder on the first play of the game.
Green had four catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Early on, he dropped a pass deep in Auburn territory, but he made up for it by catching Tyler Russell’s first touchdown pass, a 30-yard strike for a 7-3 lead.
Green then got open for a 3-yard score in the third quarter, making it 21-10.
Let’s go back to Bumphis, who’s started since his freshman year. Entering this game, he had 13 career TD receptions, but only two against SEC teams. In big games, Bumphis was usually a small factor.
Is this a different Bumphis we’re seeing? I asked Russell that question after the game, and he answered in general terms.
“Our whole team is different from last year. I can’t explain how we are different, but you definitely can tell our whole team is different.”
Bumphis has been overdue for something like this. As for Green, he’s simply been due for some good fortune. He lost most of two seasons to injuries and was granted a sixth year of eligibility because of that.
He’s making the most of his extra year, with six catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns in two games. Green again looks like that mismatch player that we’ve seen glimpses of when healthy.
“He’s an older guy, he knows what to expect,” Russell said. “I can count on him to be in the right spot at the right time.”
I wanted to ask both of those guys their thoughts on these good starts, but neither one showed up to the postgame press conference.
On this day, their actions spoke loudly enough.
Brad Locke (email@example.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.