2 Series in a Row

Hunter Renfroe robs a HR

For the first time this season the Diamond Dawgs have won 2 straight series vs. Tennessee and TSUN. It’s not been pretty baseball, but they got the job done. It’s absolutely amazing that we are in a position to make a run with all of the injuries (2 more this weekend to CT Bradford and Trey Porter) this team has had this year. Hopefully, the bats can get hot and we can win the next series at Bama. The final two SEC series (possibly the toughest of the season) will be at Florida and close the season in Starkville vs. Kentucky.

So, bulldog fans, we can do another victory dance after giving TSUN another attitude adjustmnet and proving again that This IS OUR STATE!

 

Big Weekend Series, Basketball Commits, NFL Draft

The Diamond Dawgs host the Webels this weekend. MSU enters this series on a 4 game win streak to improve it’s record to 25-16 overall and 8-10 in the SEC. All 3 games are scheduled to be televised on FoxSports. I hope we’ll have a good crowd as well. Tonight there’ll be fireworks following the game. If the Dawgs can find a way to win this series, I think we’ll be on the way to turning this season around. If you put MSUs pitching staff w/ TSUNs hitting, you’d have the best team in NCAA baseball. Should be a good match up. But we’re gonna have to generate some runs to win this series. We’re hitting the ball hard, but it’s going right at defenders. Maybe things will start to fall in the holes for us. Here’s Coach Cohen following the 5-0 shutout of USM Tuesday night:

Also, Coach Ray got his first 2 commits this week: Jacoby Davis (PG) and Andre Applewhite (SF). Davis can score and distribute the ball. Applewhite is a physical guy that can score also. Maybe things won’t be as bad next season as we first anticipated. Coach Ray has been impressive so far. He’s getting guys that want to be at MSU and work hard.

Fletcher Cox was picked 12th last night and will be playing alongside Jamar Chaney for the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s only the 2nd time in MSU history that players have been picked in the 1st round of the draft 2 years in a row. The other was 1982 (Johnie Cooks) & 1983 (Michael Haddix). Other Bulldogs that should be drafted this weekend are Vick Ballard, Charles Mitchell, Quentin Saulsberry, and James Carmon.

SBW & Coach Ray’s 1st Commit

Sugarland performing on Scott Field

Super Bulldog Weekend was highlighted with both the baseball and softball teams sweeping their opponents in SEC play. In those 6 games, MSU had 4 walk-off wins. The baseball team swept Tennessee with 2 extra innings games. The softball team took care of Kentucky w/ all 3 wins by just 1 run. After pitching complete games, Kendall Graveman was named SEC Pitcher of the Week and Stephanie Becker was named SEC Softball Pitcher of the Week. Coach Cohen speaks about the team after the sweep of Tennessee:

The offense really showed out in the spring game, putting up a combined 55 points. We avoided injuries as well. It’s obvious that the concert idea was not for MSU fans as much as it was to try and get people on MSU’s campus that have never been there before. I don’t know if I’d call it a success, but I think we all like the way the Maroon/White game was in the past better. Here’s Coach Mullen’s thoughts after the game:

Today, the 6 foot 1, 185 pound St. John’s Military Prep School point guard, Jacoby Davis of Wisconsin, plans to commit today to MSU on his visit to the MSU campus. Davis has been offered by 7 different schools including Seton Hall, South Carolina, USC, and Connecticutt. Let’s hope by the end of the day, he’s a bulldog as anticipated.

DWS Expansion Getting Closer

The Football Complex currently being constructed should be finished by Christmas. The plans are for the football program to move in the building following a bowl game. Construction on stadium expansion could begin as early as this Fall. Above is a rendering Scott Stricklin tweeted this morning. There’s a season ticket waiting list now and if the team can improve on last season’s record, the hype will continue to grow. Here’s a recent video Scott made about the future of DWS:

Just Another Maroon Spring…NOT!

It’s been a crazy Spring so far for Bulldog fans. We probably had the best football recruiting class of MSU history on signing day. Rick Stansbury retired causing the dominoes to begin falling. Numerous players began leaving the program. After a long search, Rick Ray was hired as the new Head Coach. The baseball team has had a ton of injuries, but still has a chance to do something special with the way our pitching staff is performing. Spring football is in full force. If you want to see a scrimmage for free, I suggest you make your way to DWS this Friday evening beginning at 5. I plan on being there Friday evening for the scrimmage. Let me know if you’re coming and maybe we can get together. We’ll be in Starkville all day Friday because our son is in the Science Fair in the Hump. Otherwise, plan to pay $25 a ticket for the Maroon/White game Super Bulldog weekend and prepare to hear Sugarland in concert afterwards (I wonder how many tickets they’ve actually sold).

All of us are probably overreacting to the basketball situation. It frustrates all of us. As bad as it may seem to be, let’s get a little perspective. At least right now, we’re not Penn State or Arkansas (by the way, Baylor basketball just got hit for violations). It could be worse and has been at MSU. Don’t you know Andy Kennedy is licking his chops right now. It’s easy to get all bent out of shape. We have no control over the situation. We just have to trust Scott Stricklin made the right decisions. I believe these decisions will be what ultimately defines Scott Stricklin as a successful or failed AD.

Here’s Coach Mullen talking after practice this evening about the OL and LBs:

Ups and Downs

Athletics is a series of Ups and Downs. And this weekend has been just that for MSU. The men’s baseball team won it’s first SEC series of the year vs. Vandy. But late last night the news broke that Rodney Hood will be transferring. Rick Ray has a very tough row to hoe. Our basketball program is in bad shape. There’s no other way to look at it. It’s been on the way down for some time now, imo. But we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel. It’s not ridiculous to say that it may take us 3 or 4 years to rebuild this program. We have to get behind Rick Ray now and support basketball more than ever. If he gets what players he has to play hard, MSU will get behind them. It’s easy to be very pessimistic right now, but if we could get a couple of JUCO players to sign things could possibly turn around quicker than we think. In the end, it’s just another day for a MSU fan.

A Different Focus on Offense

RB Josh Robinson going through a drill at practice yesterday

With the clear leaders on offense this spring being Tyler Russell, Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith, and Arceto Clark, the offense is looking to be more of a threat in the passing game. Our young RBs (LaDarius Perkins, Nick Griffin, Josh Robinson, & Derrick Milton) are going to be good and get plenty of yards rushing. From what I’ve read about practice so far this spring, there’s been very little read option plays. But I expect the pass may set up the run rather than the run setting up the pass. I’ve already made a prediction that we’ll have more rushing yards this year than last and stand by that prediction. I think Tyler’s ability to throw well, read the defense, and have better WRs to catch it will only open up the running game. Defenses will have to prepare for the pass first. Yesterday the defense started putting in a lot of blitz packages. And after practice Matthew Stevens caught a conversation between Cameron Lawrence and Tyler Russell: Lawrence walked up to Russell – “Dude, I know you changed protections”. Russell with a boyish grin “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Lately, the offense has been getting the better of the defense, which is very unusual in spring ball. Let’s hope it’s because the offense is that much better.

Rick Ray addressed a crowd yesterday evening at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson. Here’s some of the things he talked about according to Brad Locke’s tweets. Rick Ray addressing crowd. After today’s workout, Rodney Hood told him, “That’s the hardest workout I’ve ever had.” Rick Ray had the first shoot around and workout with the team yesterday morning at 6:15. I don’t think Stans ever had them in the gym for a practice before 10. Ray wants to find another post player, “a banger, physical,” but wants to be able to run down court and pressure defense. Ray said he’s interviewed 2 current MSU coaches, hopes to talk w/them one more time, then make decision within 48 hours. Wants to keep 1. Ray on 5 signees: “I fully anticipate us keeping all those guys and having them in a Mississippi State basketball uniform next season.”

While all the basketball drama continues to be the hot news, the football team is quietly getting better in every phase of the game. I hope to make a practice before Super Bulldog Weekend and get a look at things first hand.

Here’s an interview w/ Dan Mullen from yesterday.