Checking on the thermometer in Starkville as No. 1 Mississippi State returns home.


Josh Robinson. The junior running back wasn’t all that heralded coming into the season. Having already topped his career rushing total coming into the season, Robinson is becoming a household name. Best described as a bowling ball with legs, Robinson has been rolling downfield and bouncing off defenders like they were gutter guards and into the end zone like it was a rack of pins. Robinson finished just short of his first career 200-yard game against Kentucky, and it’s becoming clear that he’s as responsible for Dak Prescott’s success as Dak is for his.


The turnover problems. Dan Mullen commented on the Bulldogs’ recent turnover issues in his Monday press conference and sounded like he was confident in his team’s ability to fix them. They cut down to just one turnover against Kentucky, only the second game all season in which Mississippi State hasn’t committed multiple turnovers. Mississippi State averaged nearly three turnovers per game in their three straight wins over top-10 teams, so it’s clear they can overcome it, but eliminating the issues to a higher degree would be a better route than battling themselves.


The referees’ hands. SEC officials have been able to keep their hands in their pockets when they cover Mississippi State games. The Bulldogs are tied for the fewest flags thrown against them in the SEC and second in penalties per game and penalty yards. That kind of discipline can start to help to make up for things like the turnover issues we mentioned, and not shooting themselves in the foot will be crucial when it comes to the big games later in the season.


The Bulldogs secondary. The 401 yards Mississippi State allowed against Kentucky was the second highest total the Bulldogs have given up this season. That performance came complete with two long touchdown passes allowed where Wildcats receivers got behind the defensive backfield, the kind of lapses that have plagued Mississippi State all season. The Bulldogs get a reprieve against run-heavy Arkansas this week, but run into two very good offenses that can sling the ball around, Alabama and Ole Miss, later in November. They have a couple weeks to get this part of the defense warmed up.