CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: PARRIS

HED:Fans in Provo certainly know who Wayne Madkin is today

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

PROVO, Utah - Wayne Madkin didn't know much about Brigham Young University growing up, but the Cougars and their fans know a lot about him now.

"I knew about them a little bit when they won the national championship that year (1984), but growing up in Huntsville, I knew a lot more about Alabama and Auburn and the SEC," said Madkin, Mississippi State's junior quarterback.

Thursday he was the picture of efficiency in leading the Bulldogs to a 44-28 win against the Mountain West Conference Cougars.

An offense that struggled in a season-opening win at Memphis, sprang to life with 375 yards, 7.1 yards per play, three touchdowns and a field goal.

The biggest difference in the offense, according to Madkin, was time.

"We were playing our second game, and we had 10 days of practice," he said. "We've got talent, but it takes time to get your rhythm going and get in the mode."

BYU never got in the mode of figuring out Madkin.

Buoyed by two long runs, he had 238 yards of total offense in the first half alone. He finished the game with 254 yards - 104 rushing and 150 passing.

Madkin hit on 12 of 19 attempts for one touchdown and no interceptions.

His 54-yard run to the BYU 7 in the first quarter led to a field goal, and he scored on a 56-yard jaunt with solid downfield blocking in the second quarter.

Both times Madkin saw gaps in the Cougars' rush and did a little improvising.

The 54-yard run was the longest by an MSU quarterback since Don Smith went 63 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee in 1986. Madkin also became the first MSU quarterback to rush and pass for more than 100 yards in a game since Sleepy Robinson against Kentucky in 1991.

"The touchdown was a pass play designed for Larry Huntington," Madkin said. "But after I saw that big 'ol opening, I took it. I kept my pads and posture and headed down field. Darius Tubbs did a great job of blocking, and I made it to the end zone."

Tubbs shielded the last defender who had a chance to make the tackle. Fullback Kenny Williamson threw a big downfield block too.

Offensive coordinator Sparky Woods, who coaches the quarterbacks, credited Madkin for staying in the pocket also, an area Woods wasn't satisfied with after the Memphis game. Madkin completed passes for first down gains to Justin Griffith and Terrell Grindle in the first quarter.

"He converted some first downs early with a really nice throw to Justin and a good throw on the sprint out to Terrell," Woods said. "I thought he did a nice job of standing in there better. He showed good poise and made a lot of decisions ... the right decisions."

MSU coach Jackie Sherrill was glad to see Madkin decide to run.

"That's what makes Wayne so dangerous," he said. "That gives us the ability to move him around. The worst thing for people playing us is flushing him out of the pocket. He can run. He's a true 4.5, and he did a great job."

On a night when he seemed to do no wrong, Madkin stopped short of calling it his best game as a Bulldog.

"I'll leave that to you guys," he said. "I just want to move on. There are still some things we can do better as an offense, but this was a 110 percent turnaround from the first game."

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