Playing in an offense like Mike Leach’s Air Raid is everything a wide receiver dreams about. You are going to get a lot of opportunities and the game plan is going to focus almost fully on the pass.

Mississippi State outside receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. wants to remind you that, as Spiderman says, “with great power comes great responsibility.”

“We’re in a system that asks wide receivers to win football games, and your quarterback and everybody’s got to do it, but if you don’t catch the ball, we lose football games here,” Spurrier told SDS.

We have seen the ups and the downs of this responsibility already in 2 games this season. Though quarterback KJ Costello completed a higher percentage of his pass attempts against Arkansas than he did in the season-opening win against LSU, there was one major difference: 5 touchdown passes against the Tigers to just 1 against the Razorbacks.

While a lot of this falls on Arkansas’ defensive game plan of dropping 8 defenders into coverage, the Bulldogs’ receivers couldn’t find a way to get open in the end zone, where it matters.

“They knew that the opportunity to play wide receiver in this offense is a lot of fun,” Spurrier said. “But on the other side of that, now there’s a lot of pressure.”

That pressure will continue Saturday against a Kentucky secondary that has yet to hit its stride. In 2 games, the Wildcats have allowed 7 passing touchdowns and recorded 0 interceptions. This is a unit that finished second nationally in pass defense last season.

The Bulldogs will throw a lot of receivers at them. One advantage for the entire group is that Spurrier usually rotates possessions with the starters and backups, something that gives each player a chance to make an impact. One game it is Osirus Mitchell, who lit up LSU for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next game it could be JaVonta Payton, Tyrell Shavers or any of the other talented receivers Spurrier has.

“It’s kind of a cool feeling as a coach that you get a lot of guys who get to play,” he said. “So they get to play, they get confidence. They don’t worry if they have a bad play, they’re not going to play again. They don’t worry if they get beat out for one game, that they’re never going to play again. Every day is a new opportunity, and every game is a new opportunity. And we’re in a system that as a receiver the ball’s going to come my way.”

Yet Spurrier holds all of his guys to a high accountability level.

“The standard, the expectation for a receiver in the SEC is really, really hot,” he said. “In this offense, when you’re going to have an opportunity with a lot of balls coming your way, the standard to practicing hard, to practicing great, to being as good a player as you can be is… I mean every day you’re accountable for having a really good day.”

As the receivers go, the Bulldogs’ offense goes. That’s a lot of pressure.