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November 7, 2011
BulldogBlitz Players of the Week
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:
Wide receiver Arceto Clark
Junior * 5-10 * 180 * Verona, Miss.
Receiving: Five catches for 96 yards for two touchdown
Logan's take: Clark has had several big catches during his career at Mississippi State but I thought he played his best overall game Saturday night. He's probably been the Bulldogs most reliable receiver the past two years and showed some big play ability against UT-Martin. His first touchdown grab came between two defenders on an underthrown pass by Chris Relf. As a fourth-year player, it's good to see Clark start to emerge as a leader in that group of wideouts without any senior leadership.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Linebacker Cameron Lawrence
Junior * 6-2 * 225 * Coldwater, Miss.
Defense: Eight tackles (two solo, six assists), one pass breakup
Logan's take: MSU played a lot of players defensively Saturday night but Lawrence still put up some pretty good numbers despite having his snaps reduced this week. Lawrence has been a key guy for the Bulldogs defense all season and might be the most improved player on the roster in my opinion. He has definitely made the transition of losing three starting linebackers much easier. He'll have his hands full this week but I know Lawrence will live in the film room this week in preparation.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Punt returner Johnthan Banks
Junior * 6-2 * 185 * Maben, Miss.
Defense: Two solo tackles, one tackle for loss; Punt return: Three returns for 64 including a 65-yard touchdown
Logan's take: I had the chance to cover Banks in high school and knew how dangerous of a punt returner he was at the 1A level. I wasn't sure how well that would fare at the collegiate level but he proved Saturday night that he can still be that explosive player if given a crease. Banks saw the opening and hit the hole like he was shot out of a cannon. He takes such long strides that he's hard to catch in the open field. I still think he would still be better suited at receiver than cornerback but you certainly can't argue with the numbers he's put up at corner.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Running back Nick Griffin
True freshman * 6-0 * 215 * New Augusta, Miss.
Rushing: 10 carries for 80 yards, one touchdown
Logan's take: I've felt since last year that Griffin was the most talented back on the roster and whenever he understands the offense and is healthy that he would be one of the best backs around. He's still not 100-percent back from his spring knee injury but he showed Saturday night a little preview of things to come. It was the first extended action of his career and I believe he will have plenty more good games before his time is done in maroon and white.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Wide receivers coach Angelo Mirando
Logan's take: In an offense that likes to spread the ball around in the passing game it's imperative for receivers to make plays when their number is called and Saturday night the Bulldogs wideouts did that. Six different wide receivers caught passes for a combined 16 catches for 282 yards and three touchdowns. Both Clark and Chad Bumphis has big games and it was good to see Robert Johnson get involved through the air. Mirando has only been working exclusively with the wide receivers since December in his first job as an assistant coach so I'd expect his unit to keep improving each week.