After each win, BulldogBlitz recognizes several players that had outstanding performances that played a major role in Mississippi State's win. Go inside to see who publisher Logan Lowery chose as the offensive, defensive, special teams, freshman and coach of the week were.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Running back LaDarius Perkins
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Sophomore * 5-10 * 185 * Greenville, Miss.
Rushing: 12 carries for 47 yards Receiving: two catches for 32 yards, one touchdown
Logan's take: Mississippi State was having very little success running up the middle with Vick Ballard and Chris Relf all night against Louisiana Tech. Perkins came in and was able to get around the edge, especially in the second half. He not only showed off his speed to get to the outside but his power as well once he cut up field. Perkins broke several arm tackles and sustained several drives on willpower alone. He also hauled in the game winning touchdown simply using his speed to get past the defender to get open.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Linebacker Brandon Wilson
Junior * 6-1 * 240 * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Defense: 18 tackles (five solo, 13 assists)
Logan's take: With Brandon Maye not dressing Saturday it was imperative for Wilson to not only handle the extended reps but also take up the slack in the stats department as well. 18 tackles in the most by a Bulldog since 2004 when another Tuscaloosa native, Titus Brown also had 18 against Arkansas. I'd say that type of performance from a former walk-on deserves a big pat on the back. Sure Johnthan Banks and Nickoe Whitley came up with clutch interceptions late in the game but without Wilson's consistent effort all night the Bulldogs may not have been in position for those picks to be meaningful.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Punter Baker Swedenburg
Sophomore * 6-0* 185 * Columbus, Miss.
Special Teams: Seven punts for 313 yards (44.7 avg.), Long of 52 and one punt inside the 20
Logan's take: Swedenburg continues to be a steady and consistent special teams weapon for the Bulldogs. He changed the field on several occasions Saturday night forcing Louisiana Tech's 17-yard old quarterback to drive the field against an SEC defense on the road. Tech came after his kick several times but Swedenburg still managed to get off a solid punt each time. I know looking back on this game all people will remember on special teams was Chad Bumphis' 82-yard punt return for a touchdown but to me Swedenburg was MSU's MVP in this one considering how many three-and-outs the offense left him with.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Wide receiver/ kick returner Jameon Lewis
Redshirt freshman * 5-9 * 185 * Tylertown, Miss.
Rushing: Three carries for 32 yards Receiving: One catch for 16 yards Kickoff returns: Three returns for 57 yards
Logan's take: Lewis also played a role in getting the ball to the outside taking several jet sweep handoffs for big gainers, including one 23-yard carry which was the Bulldogs longest run of the night. He is also becoming a much better returner since his shenanigans in the Memphis opener. Lewis has shown explosive acceleration once he secures the ball but with his limited size has usually gone down on first contact. However if he ever does get that one final block to create a crease he will be off to the races.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Safeties coach Tony Hughes
Logan's take: I thought for the first time this season the Bulldogs finally used their safeties to their full potential. There really hasn't been that Zach Smith style of pass rush from a safety during the first three games. Wade Bonner is a guy I can see resuming that role. He and Charles Mitchell both had sacks on Saturday and for Mitchell it was his first career. Of course Whitley also came up big with the goal line interception from his safety spot in overtime. Hughes is the more quiet and reserved coach on the staff but Saturday night his safeties made plenty of noise.