MSU-Memphis Rewind: Links and Observations

If you went to the game last night, I hope all of you got home at a reasonable time. Because I didn’t. So please forgive my belated blog update.

Let’s get to the links first and recap Mississippi State’s 59-14 shellacking of Memphis:

Game story

Notebook

Sidebar on James Carmon

Photo slideshow!

There you go. Now, for a few observations and thoughts from yours truly on what I saw last night, and please add your own in the comments section below.

• We know MSU’s linebackers are on the small side, and that was apparent last night. The defensive backs got in more good licks on Memphis players than did the linebackers, who seemed to get pushed around at times. Part of that could be that all these new and/or inexperienced guys are still trying to know where to be on each play. I imagine Auburn offensive coordinator Arthur Gustav Malzahn III is salivating a little.

• I’ve been wanting to see Jameon Lewis in action ever since I first saw him darting around the practice fields last preseason camp. On offense, he didn’t disappoint, recording 113 yards on four catches and 29 yards on two rushes. He had a TD run of 19 yards and a TD catch of 80, and his other running play was a spinning, eye-popping 10-yard run.

Sure, he was clueless in the return game, but Lewis should be able to straighten that out soon enough. This kid’s the real deal. By the way, that 80-yarder was the longest touchdown reception by a Bulldog since at least 1996.

• Receiver Arceto Clark continues to impress. I don’t care of he’s only 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, he runs great routes, has sticky fingers and is willing to block downfield. The first catch he made last night was nice, as he had to twist his body with a defender all over him.

Clark, a former Shannon High standout, finished with a career-high 72 yards on two catches, with a 35-yard touchdown grab.

• A lot of Bulldogs got in the game last night. Kaleb Eulls and Matthew Wells, both redshirt freshmen, got starting nods on defense. Nine different players got at least one carry on offense, and nine made at least one catch.

Also notable, sophomore Sam Williams started at wide receiver. He played some last year, but that was surprising. He made three catches for 27 yards.

• Have to mention Vick Ballard, who had a career-high 166 rushing yards on only 10 carries, and he scored three touchdowns. That gives him 22 career rushing TDs and 23 total.

And as MSU noted this morning, Ballard’s 16.6 yards per carry broke the school record for yards per carry in a game (minimum 10 carries).

• Quarterback Chris Relf threw some some beautiful passes, and on the whole made good decisions in the option read run game. He was 13 of 21 for 202 yards, giving him four consecutive 200-yard passing games dating back to last season. It was the fifth 200-yard passing game of Relf’s career.

Oh, and he rushed for 51 yards on 13 carries.