Mike Leach’s start at Mississippi State football couldn’t have gone much better. In his first game with the Bulldogs, and as an SEC head coach, the team upset defending national champion LSU 44-34.
Everything since that game has gone terribly for MSU. Mike Leach’s system is a big departure from what the Bulldogs were doing under Joe Moorhead, so perhaps it isn’t a major surprise. Still, that LSU game gave people a false impression of what the team would be able to accomplish this year.
MSU has scored a total of 16 points in two losses to Arkansas and Kentucky in the last two weeks. The Wildcats held Leach’s offense scoreless, with the Bulldogs getting two total points on a safety. Things got so bad that K.J. Costello, the promising Stanford transfer who lit up LSU, was benched after throwing four interceptions.
ESPN’s Paul Finebaum isn’t too surprised by the up-and-down nature of Mike Leach’s team this year. “This is trademark Mike Leach,” he said during an appearance on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin. “That has been his career.”
— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 13, 2020
“You saw it when he was at Washington State,” Finebaum said during the radio show, per 247Sports. “He would have a big upset and then throw it all away the next week. That has been his career. That’s why a lot of people didn’t want him. Plenty of schools had a shot at Mike Leach.
“It’s worth remembering a couple of years ago that Tennessee was on the verge of hiring him after Butch Jones. The AD (John Currie) went out there and agreed to a deal. When the administration found out about it, they fired the AD. That’s how toxic Mike Leach’s reputation is with some administrators.”
While the last two weeks have largely erased the goodwill from the LSU win, a stark rebuild was more in line with what most expected from Leach and Mississippi State football this year. Things don’t get any easier either, as a very talented Texas A&M team, fresh off a signature win over Florida, comes to Starkville Saturday.
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