If Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is to remain in the playoff hunt, it’s going to have to flip the switch — like yesterday.
The Bulldogs head into Thursday’s showdown against Hinds (1-3, 1-1) at A.L. May Memorial Stadium with just a 1-3 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the South.
Head coach Chad Huff listed a number of areas his team must improve if it’s to remain in the hunt for the postseason. Specifically, unforced errors have killed the Bulldogs.
“Missed assignments, whether it’s playing in the right coverage, blitzing the right gap, reading keys, blocking assignments or catching the football,” Huff said Tuesday. “Right now we’re a creature of habit and creating some things that’s making it tough for us to overcome.”
The Bulldogs must also do a better job on third downs — both offensively and defensively. In last week’s 42-28 loss to East Central, MGCCC’s defense made just six stops in 17 attempts. The offense wasn’t much better, converting just three of 11 third downs.
“We have to make plays,” Huff said.
The Eagles present another difficult challenge for MGCCC. Hinds has a number of weapons at the disposal of dual-threat quarterback Micah Zanders, who has thrown for 800 yards, rushed for 119 and accounted for six total touchdowns.
His go-to target has been 6-foot-4 LSU commit Stephen Guidry, who is among the MACJC’s leaders with 18 receptions for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
“He’s a good, solid receiver who makes plays and can run after the catch,” Huff said. “We need to keep him in front of us.”
Five other receivers have at least five receptions on the year, including former Wayne County standout Ra’Meik Wallace.
DeVante Scott is pacing Hinds’ rushing attack with 179 yards on 36 carries.
The Bulldogs and Eagles are tied with Pearl River and Copiah-Lincoln for second in the South behind East Central, which is 2-0. Jones and Southwest currently sit at 0-1.
With a win over Co-Lin and PRCC, Southwest and Jones still ahead on the schedule, MGCCC likely controls its own postseason destiny if it can pull out a win Thursday.
“I think we’re going to respond really well knowing we can have some more games to play when the season is over or turn in our equipment,” said star defensive end Isaiah Buggs. “I think the team is going to come out fast and motivated.”
The Bulldogs are currently riding an 11-game winning streak against Hinds. MGCCC won 38-27 last season and hold a 46-32-1 overall record in the series.
Ole Miss night
The University of Mississippi, including chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter and admission recruiters, will be in Perkinston on Thursday for Ole Miss night. The Red and Blue will host special activities and giveaways for students prior to the game. MGCCC held a Mississippi State night earlier in the season when the Bulldogs hosted East Mississippi.
Hinds’ roster includes several former Coast standouts, including Moss Point defensive back Clinton Parham and Gautier linebacker Gerald McGee. Parham has six tackles, one interception and two pass breakups to his credit on the year. McGee has made four tackles.
Hinds at Gulf Coast
When: 7 p.m., Thursday
Where: A.L. May Memorial Stadium
Radio: 103.1 FM