Coverage Breakdown: Starkville @ Oxford
Players to Watch
Hiram Wadlington - Explosive running back versatile enough to hurt a defense on rushes and receptions. He usually finds his way into the endzone - rushed for two scores last week against Southaven - and you should expect him to do so in this game, as well.
DQ Thomas - Tied for second on the team with 10 tackles in week one, also added two tackles for loss, a sack and quarterback hurry. Whether it is behind the line of scrimmage or in coverage, Thomas just gets it done.
Quentin Wilfawn - Wilfawn missed a good bit of last season, but showed promise, making him a near no-brainer to be a breakout player this fall. So in week one, he punched the clock, made 16 tackles, two for loss, and clocked out. He carries on the impressive string of Charger middle linebackers following Jack Turner and Mike McGee.
Devin Rockette - Rockette is simply an electrifying player and possess top-notch speed. Those qualities helped earn him an offer from the hometown Ole Miss Rebels, which he accepted, earlier this summer. In week one he blocked a field goal, what will he do tonight?
CJ Terrell - This junior is no stranger to catching passes not intended for him, especially interceptions in the fourth quarter crunch time. He picked off two passes last week, including one late to help seal the game. A season ago he picked off a late fourth quarter pass against crosstown rival Lafayette. It was one of two that night and five on the season.
Colton Skidmore- Skid will have to keep the pressure off of his young quarterback and also help clear lanes for Wadlington on the ground.
Willie Gay - Another Ole Miss commit on the defensive side in this game is Willie Gay, who is likely to be the best defensive player in this game. With tremendous size, speed and athleticism, Gay is able to be a playmaker both in and outside the box. Look for him to be in on most tackles tonight.
Joey Claybrook - The offensive line returns three seniors in 2016, and Claybrook is perhaps the best of the group. The Yellowjackets want to run the ball often and effectively tonight and Claybrook will be tasked with paving the way against a stout Charger defense, along with his trench mates.
Malik Brown - Brown could bloom into a sophomore sensation by season’s end. He is a skilled runner who could flourish around talented tailbacks KJ Lawrence, Rodrigues Clark and Dre Swanigan. Not to mention he will be behind a better than solid offensive line and have tall receivers out wide.
Nelson Jordan - Jordan is a talented pass rusher blessed with great size. He opened up the season with a sack last week and two addition quarterback hurries against Noxubee County last week. Kobe Jones and Lorenzo Dantzler are gone, but Jordan is more than capable of chasing quarterbacks down, as well.
Jaquez Akins - After getting the start at quarterback last week Akins will move back to his best position this week due to Malik Brown taking over quarterbacking duties. Akins tallied 57 tackles, three picks and three forced fumbles a season ago from the safety position. He could be a difference-maker there starting against Oxford.
Luke Davis-Look for the dependable receiver to come up big in a key spot down the stretch in this one.
Keys to the Game
Oxford will want to get Hiram Wadlington going to make it easier for JR McClure through the air. However, the Starkville defense is stout defensively in the front seven.
The Yellowjackets are going to run the ball a good bit with Malik Brown in at quarterback, but Oxford is good up front on defense, too. So which team executes when Starkville puts it in the air. I sure like CJ Terrell and Devin Rockette there.
The Chargers must be physical up front on offense and defense. They have the ability to do so, but last season that got them late. With a low-scoring game expected, the more physical team will be in a better position late.
Two young, but very different quarterback, are squaring off. Which guy does what they do best? I learn towards Brown because of the backs around him and his offensive line.
Jaquez Akins - Akins won’t start under center this week, but he’ll be quarterbacking the Jacket defense.