Mississippi State’s freshmen would really benefit from the Bulldogs’ last four games being played.
With COVID-19 cases ramping back up across the country, college football games are being postponed and canceled left and right. Mississippi State’s game against Auburn last weekend was postponed to Dec. 12, and this weekend’s game against Georgia was in doubt for a while.
It wasn’t changed, and Mississippi State is still kicking off at Georgia on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
That game staying as scheduled is big for the rest of the season finishing without issues – and quite honestly, finishing this season as scheduled can go a long way for the numerous freshmen Mississippi State has put on the field this season.
With the new eligibility rules in the NCAA, this season does not count towards anyone’s eligibility. So the nine true freshmen that Mississippi State has played can still have four more years of suiting up in the maroon and white after this year.
Some of those freshmen include quarterback Will Rogers, running backs Jo’quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson, receiver Jaden Walley and cornerback Emmanuel Forbes.
Rogers has played in four of MSU’s six games and started one. He’s completed 83 of 116 passes for 536 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
His best game came in the win against Vanderbilt, where he went 35 of 46 for 226 yards and one touchdown. In that game, he set the MSU record for completions by a freshman.
Marks has played in all six games and started four of them. He has already set two Mississippi State school records this season. Those are the most receptions by a running back in a season, and the most receptions by a freshman in a season.
He currently ranks first nationally in receptions for a RB, and he ranks second nationally in receptions by freshmen. He has 37 carries for 131 yards and one touchdown, and 38 catches for 161 yards.
Walley hasn’t set any records yet, but he has been MSU’s top playmaker at receiver since the LSU game. He has 19 catches in the last five games (three starts) for 171 yards.
Forbes has started two games at cornerback and played in all six. He has two interceptions this season and returned one for a touchdown against Texas A&M. He also has 17 tackles.
He is tied for 37th in the nation with two interceptions and is one of only five freshmen to have an interception this season.
Those are just four of the nine freshman who have played this year, and some of them will have up to 10 SEC games under their belt and still be classified as a freshman next year.
There’s a big difference between playing in 4-6 SEC games as a freshman and playing 8-10 SEC games, so these next four games can go a long way in the growth of those freshmen and the team’s success over the next four years.
Dalton Middleton (email@example.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal. Find more in the Facebook Group “Mississippi State Discussion w/Dalton Middleton.”