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November 28, 2011After 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:
Running back Vick Ballard
Senior * 5-11 * 220 * Pascagoula, Miss.
Rushing: 23 carries for 144 yards, one touchdown Receiving: twp catches for 25 yards, one touchdown
Logan's take: Ballard hasn't had many holes to run through this season but Saturday night there were plenty of them. Ballard reached the 1,000 yard plateau that eluded him a year ago and he definitely deserved the milestone. Ballard runs with a purpose and rarely gets stopped in the backfield (which did not happen in the Egg Bowl). He doesn't get the spotlight that some backs in the league get but knowing Ballard that's fine with him. All that matters to him is getting his team a win and knowing he played a part in it.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Linebacker Cameron Lawrence
Junior * 6-2 * 225 * Coldwater, Miss.
Defense: 14 tackles (three solo, 11 assists), one sack, 1.5 tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one quarterback hurry
Logan's take: All season long Lawrence has made play after play on defense and Saturday night was no different. When the whistle blew Lawrence was around the football either making the stop himself or helping a teammate as witness by his 11 assisted stops. The big question mark for the Bulldogs coming into the season was at linebacker after losing three starters a year ago. Lawrence has helped alleviate those concerns and gives MSU a reliable leader heading into 2012.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Safety Charles Mitchell
Senior * 5-11 * 205 * Clarksdale, Miss.
Defense: six tackles (three solo, three assists), one forced fumble
Logan's take: Mitchell goes gotten the job done on defense for the Bulldogs for the last four seasons. Playing in his final home game, Mitchell made a huge play on State's first kickoff of the game. After the Bulldogs scored on the opening drive, Ole Miss' Philander Moore broke into the open field on the ensuing kickoff for a 45-yard return until he met Mitchell. Mitchell jarred the ball loose at midfield allowing Damein Anderson to recover keeping the momentum on the Mississippi State sideline.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
Defensive end Kaleb Eulls
Redshirt freshman * 6-4 * 280 * Pickens, Miss.
Defense:Five tackles (two solo, three assists)
Logan's take: Eulls has started every game for the Bulldogs this season at defensive end. Not bad for a guy in his first season on the field. Eulls has the skill set to play both inside and out and is very good against the run on the edge. Eulls will continue to get better over time and having MSU qualify for a bowl to get those extra practices will help him and the other young players on the roster continue to develop.
COACH OF THE WEEK:
Running backs coach Greg Knox
Logan's take: State's running backs chewed up 208 yards on the ground Saturday night. Ballard and LaDarius Perkins were picking up yards at will rushing also each caught a touchdown pass as well. I think that's the type of performance Bulldog fans expected all season but the injuries along the offensive line have had their toll on that happening every week. Knox has been developing Mississippi State's next generation of backs in Nick Griffin, Derrick Milton and Josh Robinson and should be fun to watch this spring and next season.