MSU junior running back LaDarius Perkins (27) finds an open hole in the Arkansas defense. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Execution was the word of the day for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs were clicking, especially in the second half, during a 45-14 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday.
â€śBasically the whole day we executed,â€ť MSU running back LaDarius Perkins said. â€śWe didnâ€™t start fast like we wanted in the first half. We started chipping away at them, but then in the second half, we turned it up a notch and started making a lot of plays.â€ť
Due to an injury sustained a couple of weeks ago, Perkins sat out last weekâ€™s battle with LSU. After watching from the sidelines, the Bulldog was happy to be back on the field and competing alongside his teammates.
â€śI missed last week and it was tough on me,â€ť Perkins said. â€śI really wanted to play, but the trainers did a good job of keeping me out and getting me ready. I came back this week and was healthy. It just feels good to be back out there.â€ť
Coming off an injury, many often expect an athlete to be slightly off their game, but that was not true of Perkins on Saturday.
As action ceased, the junior held his head high as the teamâ€™s leading rusher with 17 touches for 91 yards. Perkins also snagged three receptions for an additional 40 yards and picked up a 16-yard kick return to bring his total yardage for the day to 147.
The juniorâ€™s three receptions brought about a light moment as he was recapping Saturdayâ€™s game. When asked about his teammates joking about him not being able to catch the ball, Perkins quickly snipped back, â€śI have the best hands on the team. They donâ€™t understand I have the best hands.â€ť
MSU coach Dan Mullen seems to agree with Perkins on his reception skills, as he says the juniorâ€™s catches were â€śspectacularâ€ť and â€śexecuted about as flawlessly as possible.â€ť
While Perkins certainly had an outstanding day himself, he is quick to give his Bulldog teammates credit for their hard work.
â€śI feel everyone executed and did their job like they were supposed to do to help us come out on top,â€ť Perkins said. â€śWe ran the ball and got pretty good yardages. Tyler (Russell) made great reads (Saturday) and the offensive line blocked real good. The defense did a great job of stopping them and making turnovers. We just have to make sure we carry that over to next week.â€ť
While the running back is busy crediting his teammates for their success, they are just as quick crediting Perkins for his efforts.
Chad Bumphis for instance says that â€śwhen he gets the ball he just makes plays. (When) you match him up with the linebackers most of the time, heâ€™s going to win.â€ť
Perkins and the rest of the Bulldogs are not going to have long to celebrate their eighth victory of the season, before they have to start preparing for their next game. MSU faces in-state rival, the University of Mississippi, in the Battle for the Golden Egg next Saturday.
â€śWe are just going to build off this and keep it going,â€ť Perkins said. â€śIt feels good with this victory, just have to keep it going into next week.â€ť
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