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October 10, 2011After 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:
Quarterback Tyler Russell
Sophomore * 6-4 * 220 * Meridian, Miss.
Passing: 11-of-13 for 166 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions Rushing: three carries for five yards
Logan's take: After watching Chris Relf struggle for the last few weeks I've been waiting on what occurred on Saturday. Russell was inserted into the game to start the second half to see if he could spark the stagnant offense and boy did he ever. Russell was confident and showed lots of poise in the pocket rifling several passes across the middle on target. The team rallied behind him and probably most importantly, he believed in himself. From what I saw on Saturday Russell deserves a chance to start this week against South Carolina.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Linebacker Brandon Wilson
Junior * 6-1 * 240 * Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Defense: Nine tackles (six solo, three assists)
Logan's take: Of course Fletcher Cox was named SEC Defensive player of the week but Wilson not only led the Bulldogs in tackles Saturday but was responsible for coming up the single most important defensive play of the day. Wilson forced UAB running back Pat Shed to fumble and then pounced on the ball at the MSU 23-yard line with the Bulldogs holding onto a 7-3 lead at the time. He has been a solid player on State's defense all season. Not bad for a former walk-on.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Kicker Brian Egan
Sophomore * 5-10 * 205 * Prattville, Ala.
Special Teams: Four kickoffs for 273 yards (68.2 average), one touchback
Logan's take: Kickoffs have been something the Bulldogs have struggled with since Dan Mullen's arrival. Saturday was one of the better showings for the kickoff team that I can remember in the Mullen era but it didn't hurt that Egan was kicking with a 13 mph win behind him either. Of course the most important stat that Egan provided against UAB was Mississippi State's first touchback of the season. So yes, it can be done.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Defensive tackle Curtis Virges
Redshirt freshman * 6-3 * 300 * West Point, Miss.
Defense: Two solo tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss
Logan's take: I've been watching Virges play since he was a ninth-grader at West Point (Miss.) High School and certainly seen him have more violent sacks on quarterbacks. But the sack of Jonathan Perry to start the second half was special because it was Virges' first in college and the only sack MSU would get on the day. Virges is seeing his role increase each week and I believe he'll end up having a solid career.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Defensive coordinator / defensive line coach Chris Wilson
Logan's take: Wilson's defense picked up right where it left off in the second half of the Georgia game. The defense has now gone six quarters without allowing a touchdown and have surrendered just two field goals over that span. Once the offense started to click in the second half on Saturday the defense seemed to feed off that even more. Wilson also coached up the defensive line that didn't allow much up the middle all day.