World News – UA – Behind Enemy Enemies: Mississippi State Bulldogs


To preview Vanderbilt’s upcoming match with the State of Mississippi, The Hustler goes behind Enemy Bylines to interview Hunter Cloud of The Reflector

Vanderbilt falls to 0-3 with a 41-7 loss to South Carolina on October 10, 2020 (Hustler Multimedia / Hunter Long)

After four straight losses (five, if you count Vanderbilt’s final loss in 2019), the Commodores travel to Mississippi State this weekend to face the Bulldogs, where they will try to put their season back on the rails Mississippi State is also trying to break a four-game losing streak after a 41-0 loss to Alabama that put them at 1-4 this season.

A victory on Saturday would be huge for either team, as they look to maintain momentum in the second half of the season To preview the next game, The Hustler went behind Enemy Bylines and interviewed Hunter Cloud, writer and former sports editor of The Reflector, to preview Vanderbilt’s game with the Bulldogs this weekend

Vanderbilt Hustler: The Bulldogs have struggled since their first week of LSU upheaval What have been the main causes of this crisis, and what do you hope Mike Leach does this week to get them back on track?

Hunter Cloud: I would say a general lack of offensive execution They are an extremely heavy team and have completely given up on the race I would blame Leach’s stubbornness in not using his rushing weapons, but I believe one of the reasons is that he is trying to put together this team for the future I would also say Mississippi State hasn’t been able to block passes well this year, so a lot of teams have given up eight men on cover which of course is very difficult to pass. I would say that these are the main causes of the misfortunes of the state of Mississippi The offense failed to mark football

Quarterback KJ Costello hasn’t been able to play consistent football since Week 1, either. What should the Vanderbilt defense expect from him this Saturday?

Problem is, I really don’t know if he’s actually going to start – Leach said Will Rodgers and Costello are still fighting for the job. If Costello starts he needs to start getting rid of football faster and using his internal clock.In week 1 when LSU had a lot of pressure on him he was able to get rid of football quickly, but I had still worries about his internal clock and the urgency to get rid of football I think it will be a big challenge for him this week If Will Rodgers starts I think it’s something he has

How did the losses of Willie Gay and Cam Dantzler change this defense from the one we saw a year ago?

I’d say state defense over the past 3-4 years has been pretty consistent They drop a lot of points sometimes, but it’s hard not to when you’re constantly on the pitch Willie Gay and Cam Dantzler notably challenged the high school They’ve never been great against the pass but losing experienced guys in the defensive backfield will always hurt your defense No one in particular has convinced me about this defense so far, but I think they have played some good football

Vanderbilt’s offense hasn’t been able to score consistently this season How do you expect the Mississippi state defense to prepare for Ken Seals and his offense?

I think they’re going to do what they’ve done well this year and in the past – put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run They’re under enough pressure in the passing game to disrupt the offense usually, and I would look for them to try and do it on Saturday

Vanderbilt’s defense hasn’t played well this season since their Week 1 game against Texas A&M What are the main weapons of Leach’s offense to watch out for this week?

It’s honestly a little hard for me to do as every day I go on Twitter and it looks like State has lost another offensive player.I would say Jo’quavious Marks has really stepped up and been really effective outside of the backfield as passing target Austin Williams has been a solid possession receiver for us this year Osirus Mitchell may be one of those weapons for us, but he’s been inconsistent so far this year I’d say State’s best offensive player isn’t even more on the pitch – Kylin Hill, who opted out of the season It definitely changed the look of the offense this year

Anish Mago (’24) is a writer for the Vanderbilt Hustler He majored in economics at the College of Arts and Sciences When he isn’t writing he can be found playing basketball or watching his property -Loved Eagles or Sixers It can be reached at [email protected]

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World News – UA – Behind Enemy Enemies: Mississippi State Bulldogs


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