The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bumphis leads Bulldogs to 5-0 start

Chad Bumphis and the Mississippi State Bulldogs improved their record to 5-0 for the first time since 1999, and although the Dogs are 7-3 against SEC East teams under head coach Dan Mullen, Saturday’s game against Tennessee may be the biggest one Mullen has coached yet.
Not even halfway through his fourth and final season, Bumphis managed to acquire sole possession of MSU’s all-time touchdown reception list with his 27-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter of Saturday’s game at Kentucky.
After the game, Bumphis said breaking the record was a small step in the big picture for MSU.
“It’s a big deal to get it out of the way finally,” Bumphis said. “I mean I can’t say I wasn’t thinking about it, but there are bigger goals. What we want to do this year is get to Atlanta. This is just one step.”       
In addition to his 18th touchdown catch, Bumphis also took over fourth place with 122 career receptions and eight place with 1,723 career receiving yards.
At 5’11, 200 pounds, Chad Bumphis has always been told he was too small to be a big-time receiver in college, but in his senior year, Bumphis has proved doubters wrong.
Bumphis has big play-making ability, and so far this season, his outbursts have come at the right times. The senior tied a career high with nine receptions against the Wildcats, and his 104 receiving yards were his most in SEC play.
In State’s other SEC game this season, Bumphis caught three passes for 47 yards and a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers. Bumphis’ biggest game this season was at Troy when he routed the Trojans for 180 yards and three touchdowns.
I think one of the reasons for Bumphis’ success this season is the talent around him. Most teams have one go-to receiver on whom defenses focus all the attention. However, if defenses try to lock down Bumphis, State has a plethora of other receivers who can make big plays.
In the five games so far this season, State has had four different receivers lead the team in receiving yards. Against Auburn and South Alabama, nine different Bulldogs caught a pass from Tyler Russell. Yes, nine different receivers caught a pass. That is unheard of these days.
On any day, any Bulldog can come up with the big play. Marcus Green scored twice against Auburn. Brandon Heavens led receivers against South Alabama. Arceto Clark accompanies Bumphis at the top of the watch-list of MSU receivers and has been very consistent all year.
When defenses can’t focus on one guy, it allows more receivers to be open. Now that State has a throwing quarterback in Russell, a very good, underrated quarterback, the Dogs can spread the ball around the field and keep the defense off-balance.
My one critique of State’s passing game this season is the lack of deep balls thrown by Russell. I actually am a fan of the short-passing game, but with so many solid receivers and an accurate quarterback, I think the Dogs could break some longer plays out every once in a while.
As Tennessee rolls into town, everyone will be talking about the run game. “Tennessee can’t stop the run. How many yards will LaDarius Perkins rack up against the Vols?” The ground game will be the talk of the town.
No, Tennessee hasn’t proven it can stop anybody in the trenches, and because of this, State will get its normal 150 or so yards rushing. But this won’t be enough to beat the Vols.
If MSU wants to come out of Saturday’s game with a win, Russell and the receivers need to be connected.
In my opinion, this is a make-it or break-it game for UT head coach Derek Dooley. Start off 0-3 in the SEC with South Carolina and Alabama looming in the next two weeks and Dooley may as well start packing. Upset No. 19 MSU on the road, and the orange pants may stay around Knoxville a little while longer.
Bumphis and the rest of the MSU receivers have come up big all year, but they will face their biggest challenge of the year Saturday night at Davis Wade.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Bumphis leads Bulldogs to 5-0 start