After each win, Logan Lowery of the Daily Journal recognizes several players and a coach that had outstanding performances and played a major role in Mississippi State’s victory. Check out who his offensive, defensive, special teams, freshman and coach of the week were from the Southern Miss game.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior * 5-11 * 215 * Columbus, Miss.
Rushing: 14 carries, 123 yards, one touchdown Receiving: two catches, 19 yards
Logan’s take: The first two games have been impressive outings for Kylin Hill, who ranks second nationally with 320 rushing yards. Hill showcased his repertoire on Saturday by running past, over, around and through defenders in addition to improved pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. It was a scary moment when he had to be helped to the locker room just before halftime but he returned and seemed to even run harder in the second half.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Safety Brian Cole II
Senior * 6-2 * 210* Saginaw, Mich.
Defense: Seven tackles (five solo, two assists), 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack
Logan’s take: I anticipated this being a breakout year for Brian Cole and through two weeks he hasn’t disappointed. Cole is coming off a season-ending pectoral injury last year and is again starring at nickelback – or star as it’s called in Bob Shoop’s defense. Cole is generating pressure off the edge and making plays in the backfield but also has the speed and coverage skills to be effective in the secondary as well.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Punter Tucker Day
Sophomore * 6-0 * 210 * Brentwood, Tenn.
Punting: Four punts, 199 yards (49.8 avg.), long 59
Logan’s take: It was another solid day punting for Tucker Day. Three of Day’s four punts against Southern Miss traveled inside the 15-yards line, two of which traveled to the 8 and 4-yard lines. Through two games, four of his six punts have been downed or fail caught inside the 10-yard line.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Running back Lee Witherspoon
True freshman * 5-10 * 205 * Birmingham, Ala.
Rushing: Seven carries, 40 yards, one touchdown
Logan’s take: I picked Lee Witherspoon to be the sleeper signee from the Bulldogs’ 2019 class having set the Alabama high school records for single-season rushing touchdowns (53) and total touchdowns (59) his only year in the backfield. Witherspoon made his collegiate debut on Saturday and averaged 5.7 yards per carry and had a 22-yard touchdown run to close out the game in the fourth quarter. With juco signee Kareem Walker still not with the team, Witherspoon may not get the chance to redshirt this season and is currently serving as MSU’s third-team tailback.
COACH OF THE WEEK
Running backs coach
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Logan’s take: Having selected two running backs as players of the week, you probably guessed that running backs coach Terry Richardson might get the nod here too. Hill, Witherspoon and Nick Gibson all got in the end zone on the ground on Saturday and helped take some of the pressure off true freshman Garrett Shrader, who took most of the snaps at quarterback. Richardson inherited a good group to work with but will have to find a way to keep them all healthy because while the backfield is talented, there isn’t much depth.