CATEGORY: FOC College Football

AUTHOR: PARRIS

STARKVILLE Mississippi State kicker Brian Hazelwood began the season on a white-hot tear but has since cooled off.

Hazelwood hit two field goals inlcuding a 53-yarder on the final player to lift State to a season-opening win over Memphis.

The junior from Clinton went on to his nine of his first 10 attempts. He's been bothered some by back spasms as he's hit just one of his last six.

Hazelwood missed attempts from 42 and 37 yards against Central Florida.

"The first one was not his fault," Sherrill said. "There was a bad snap, and the holder didn't get the ball down. Rob (Morgan) was still trying to get it down when he kicked it. The snap just came fluttering back there.

"The other one was just a foot left, maybe not even a foot. He hit that one good, but sometimes the wind plays a factor. I don't have any qualms about his kicking."

Sherrill remains so confident in Hazelwood that he second-guessed his decision not to attempt a 55-yarder in the third quarter.

Hazelwood hit eight of 18 attempts last year.

1, 2, 3 block: The three tight-end set worked well for the Bulldogs again in the win over Central Florida.

Aberdeen's Reggie Kelly lines up in the backfield in the formation. Saturday he helped clear the way for two of James Johnson's four rushing touchdowns.

On one play Kelly went right, and Johnson went left, fooling the Knights' defense.

"We thought that if we kept Reggie sliding right that they would shift with him," MSU offensive coordinator Lynn Amedee said. "They bounced their linebackers across with him, and J.J. just went the other way."

Bulldog Bites: After coaches reviewed film of the Central Florida game, linebacker Dereck Rush was credited with 21 tackles, matching the 21 Paul Lacoste had against LSU last year for the most since Reggie Stewart recorded 24 stops against Alabama in 1990. ... Flanker Kevin Prentiss turned his other ankle in the third quarter against UCF but returned in the game for a 38-yard catch. The ankle isn't as bad as feared, and Prentiss will practice this week and play Saturday, Sherrill said. ... All players practiced Monday and should be ready for Auburn, inlcuding Kendall Roberson who suffered a concussion after his second-quarter interception.

... For most of the season Matt Wyatt has been the SEC's lowest rated quarterback. Wyatt is now up two spots with a 109.1 rating, ahead of Arkansas' Clint Stoerner and Vanderbilt's Damian Allen. ... Wyatt has thrown 30 straight passes without an interception. ... With a big day of returns against UCF, Robert Isaac is now second in the SEC in all-purpose yards with 123.9 per game.

compiled by Parrish Alford

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