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22. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs will go as far as the arm and legs of a seasoned Wayne Madkin take
By Mark Bechtel
Wayne Madkin grew up in Huntsville, Ala., a town where folks are so unaccustomed
to snow that all activity comes to a halt if radar indicates a flurry within 50
miles. After Madkin fumbled away the snap in snowy conditions on the first play
of the Independence Bowl last December, he told coach Jackie Sherrill that his
hands were frozen. "Wayne, you've got two choices," Sherrill told him.
"Thaw 'em out, or I'm going to put [backup] Kevin [Fant] in." Madkin
slipped his hands into a heating pad on the sideline and played the game of his
life in the Bulldogs' 43-41 overtime win over Texas
| || |
| Enemy Lines |
| An opposing team's coach sizes up
" Wayne Madkin has matured, but he will make a mistake and isn't a guy who can get
them out of third-and-six. ... Dicenzo Miller and Dontae Walker are good backs
and they run behind a huge line. But they're so big up front you can run around
them and make plays. ... I like [offensive coordinator] Sparky Woods , but they
could be more imaginative. ... They try to win with defense and the kicking game,
which they can do most times, but if you control their running game, you can
As a redshirt freshman in '98, Madkin was thrust into the lineup after the
offense sputtered three games into the season. He has become the school's career
passing leader and has won 23 of 33 starts. He has a strong arm and is a
proficient scrambler. "There's a sixth sense to being a quarterback,"
Sherrill says. "Dan Marino, Steve Young, Joe Montana, they had it. It's
something you can't
Despite controlling its destiny in the SEC West with two games left in each of
the past three years, Mississippi State has won the division just once. That was
in 1998, but in a 24-14 loss to Tennessee in the SEC title game, Madkin
completed only 10 of 22 passes and threw two interceptions. Since then, he has
become more accurate. A 48.2% passer as a freshman, he hit on 56.1% of his
attempts last year.
Defensively, All-America safety Edward (Pig) Prather and rugged linebacker
Mario Haggan must anchor things until the front four matures. Should the
Bulldogs get back to the title game, they'll have a weapon they lacked against
the Vols. "[In terms of maturity] Wayne wasn't ready to play in that
game," says Sherrill. "He was a great athlete playing quarterback.
He's made himself into a great
Issue date: August 13, 2001
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