College Football Weeks 1-4

From Issue 2


Jack Dryden

A giant cowbell in the balcony of Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville.

College football is already under way and it has been a wild start to the season. Week 0, the time in which some major non conference games happen, was fairly uneventful, but week 1 was filled with big games. LSU was beaten by Florida State despite being heavy favorites. This game was key for LSU’s new head coach Brian Kelly who left Notre Dame to take the job, so the loss heavily hurts fans’ faith in him as a coach and the program. 

Mississippi State faced off against Memphis to start the season, and they took care of business. Will Rogers threw for 5 touchdowns where he completed passes to 15 different receivers.  Rara Thomas was the standout receiver for Mississippi State. He accumulated 1 touchdown and 81 receiving yards. Mississippi State’s defense showed promise to start the first quarter, but the game ended up being delayed because there was lightning in the area. State’s defense stayed strong until the middle of the third quarter where they began to fall apart. Memphis was able to march down the field multiple times, but Mississippi State was able to score enough points on offense to get the win. The final score was 49-23. 

Ole Miss took on Troy week 1 with Jackson Dart as their starting quarterback. Jackson Dart threw for 1 touchdown and 154 passing yards. He was eventually subbed out for Luke Altmyer, who showed high upside and actually looked better than Ole Miss’s “golden boy” Jackson Dart. Another standout player for the rebels was Zach Evans. Zach was a 5 star transfer from TCU. He had 20 carries for 130 yards and showed that he could live up to all of the hype that was around him. Zach Evans will be a problem for every defense that he goes against and it will be fun to watch him play this year. 

Week 2 Mississippi State traveled to Arizona to take on the wildcats. Will Rogers once again led the way in this 39-17 victory.  Rogers threw for 400 yards in the air for a total of 4 touchdowns, while throwing one interception which went through the receivers hands. Rara Thomas again led the team in receiving yards with 5 receptions for 63 yards. State’s defense showed promise in some spots, but their secondary still struggled late in the game. The defensive line also has shown no ability to contain a scrambling quarterback. This is a big problem when facing teams like Alabama in the upcoming weeks because if State’s defensive line can’t contain a quarterback then they will in no way be able to stop elite offenses that have a scrambling quarterback. 

Ole Miss took on the Central Arkansas Bears for the week 2 game. This game was a massacre with Ole Miss winning with a final score of 59-3. Luke Altmyer started the game for Ole Miss and showed large upside going 6 for 13 on passes and throwing for 90 yards with 2 touchdowns. Luke eventually was injured and because of this was subbed out for Jackson Dart, who came in and threw for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ole Miss has two quarterbacks that will be competing for the qb1 spot all year long. Quinshon Judkins was the leading rusher for Ole Miss where he rushed for 104 yards. Ole Miss has a deadly two running back combo which they are going to be able to utilize each week. 

There was an abundant amount of close and exciting games in week 2 of the college football season. One of the biggest games in week 2 was Texas vs. Alabama. Texas’s quarterback, Quinn Ewers was marching down the field all through the first quarter where he threw for 134 yards on 12 passing attempts. He was sadly hurt when he was tackled by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner. Hudson Card came into the game when this happened, and he still had a decent game. Alabama, however, did not play well throughout the game. Their defense did not have the usual discipline that Alabama’s players are known to have. Alabama accumulated a total of 15 penalties, which is the most penalties Alabama has had in the Nick Saban era. Bryce Young found his groove late in the game and Alabama was able to come away with the win, when Will Reichard made a 33 yard field goal. The final score was 20-19 and it should be interesting to see how Alabama plays the rest of the year.

Appalachian State vs. Texas A&M has definitely been the biggest upset so far this season. Chase Brice led Appalachian State to their victory where he threw for 134 yards and 1 touchdown. Appalachian State showed signs of being elite in this victory. Their defense shutdown the number 6 ranked team in the country. A&M was not able to live up to all of the hype that was around their team. They seemed sloppy and didn’t have the offensive firepower that they are known to have. The final score was 17-10 and this shocked the entire college football community. 

Week 3 was a week that humbled many teams around the country. One of those teams happened to be Mississippi State. State faced LSU in week 3 where State was expected to win. However, everybody knew this was not an easy win for State because it is not easy to win in Death Valley. LSU is known for their loud crowds and it takes a disciplined team to not crack under the pressure that comes with playing in Death Valley. Mississippi State came out guns a blazin where they scored a touchdown and a field goal in the first half. Will Rogers did not have his best game where he went 24-42 for 214 yards and 1 touchdown. These stats are not bad but for Rogers they are. His passes did not seem as crisp as they usually are and this greatly affected State’s offense. Mississippi State’s Rara Thomas caught a touchdown at the end of the first half and has continued to be State’s number 1 receiver. After the first half, State could not find their groove and LSU was slowly inching their way back into the game. State made crucial mistakes late in the game. One of these mistakes was a dropped punt by 6 year veteran Austin Williams. This was a very uncharacteristic play for Austin, and it was clear that the pressure got to him. LSU’s defense is what kept them in the game. Rogers could not seem to find any receivers that were open. LSU’s offense did not have any major mistakes late in the game and were able to control the clock the whole 4th quarter. The final score was 31-16 with LSU upsetting Mississippi State.

Ole Miss took on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in their week 3 matchup. This matchup was not fair from the start and the final score was a whopping 42-0. Jackson Dart threw for 207 yards, but all of Ole Miss’s touchdowns were on the ground. Zach Evans accumulated 134 yard for 2 touchdowns. Ole Miss’s other running back, Quinshon Judkins also had 2 touchdowns. This two headed snake running back core for Ole Miss is going to be very hard to stop in the upcoming weeks. Right now Ole Miss is mowing through one opponent at a time, but they are yet to really be challenged with any good competition. It will be interesting to see how they compete against better competition.

The biggest upset that occurred in week 3 of the college football season was the matchup between Michigan State and Washington. Michigan State was a top 15 team and they were expected to mow through Washington. This, however, was not the case for the Spartans. Washington’s offense was dominant throughout the whole game. Their quarterback, Michael Penix Jr. threw for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. Michigan State was able to score some points as well, but it was no match for the huskies. Washington took down the Spartans with a final score of 39-28. 

Week 4 had many great games, and it also humbled many of these teams. Ole Miss played Tulsa at home and it was expected to be an easy win for the Rebels. Ole Miss’s “elite defense” was not firing on all cylinders. They gave up 27 points to Tulsa who ran the ball all over Ole Miss’s defense. Jackson Dart, Ole Miss’s quarterback, threw for 154 yards in the air on 24 passes. He also ran for 116 yards on the ground. Once again, Ole Miss’s run game is what made the difference. Quinshon Judkins led the team in rushing yards with a total of 140 yards and two touchdowns. Quinshon led the team to a victory of 35-27. It should be interesting to see how Ole Miss plays against Kentucky in the upcoming week.

Mississippi State played Bowling Green at home in the fourth game of their season. Will Rogers was firing on all cylinders where he threw for a whopping 409 passing yards in 50 attempts. State was able to control the game on both sides of the ball and defeated Bowling Green in a score of 45-14. College football is off to a great start, and it is sure to get more exciting as the weeks go on.