Bulldogs use bye week to study all information

Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead, left, watches action earlier this season.

Staff Writer

There’s no football game for Mississippi State this weekend.

The Bulldogs are enjoying a bye week right at the midpoint of the 2018 season. While that might sound like the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax, MSU isn’t at all sleepwalking through this week. Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead says his team and coaching staff is using the bye week to self-scout and get better, analyzing everything the Bulldogs have done through the first six games.

“We have a whole binder filled up full of stuff offensively and defensively,” Moorhead said on the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference Wednesday. “It ranges from everything to run-pass selection, to run-pass by down and distance, to run-pass by backfield location because we’re shotgun. It’s plays on first and second down, plays on each third down distance, what we’re doing in the red zone, what we’re doing on the goal line and all those things. We did a pretty exhaustive study of it.”

MSU’s coaches dug into the information on Monday.

“We spent all day doing that,” Moorhead said in a media session with reporters Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs are hopeful to get better by leaving no stone unturned, seeing what things have worked and what things haven’t over the season’s first six weeks.

While there’s been plenty of self-evaluation going on, practice has rolled on for the Bulldogs too, though it has had a little twist. Moorhead has dubbed this week’s practices “developmental practice.” That started on Tuesday and continued Wednesday.

“We got the redshirts and some of the guys who don’t play a lot of reps in 7-on-7 and team (drills),” Moorhead said.

State’s plan is one that is geared towards helping the Bulldogs both recuperate, yet still continue growing as the season rolls on.

For some players – namely defensive backs Jamal Peters and Brian Cole, as well as offensive lineman Darryl Williams – the week can be used to return to health. Moorhead said Tuesday all three of those guys are considered day-to-day and he’s optimistic they’ll be ready for next weekend’s contest at LSU. For others, the bye week is a time to refresh themselves.

Moorhead reiterated those goals when asked his specific hopes for the bye week. He’s hopeful a less intense week than usual leads to big things for the Bulldogs down the road.

“We want to recharge mentally, rehab physically and work on academics,” Moorhead said. “That’s kind of a broad strokes perspective.

“For us, it’s kind of a self-analysis. (We want to) keep the guys fresh with some work and then develop the younger guys that are redshirts or don’t play a bunch.”