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Monday, September 17, 2012
Player of the Week: SEC

By Edward Aschoff

Ever since Chad Bumphis stepped on Mississippi State's campus, true greatness was expected. Actually, that's probably an understatement, considering he was one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2009 class.

However, since his breakout freshman season in Starkville, it's been a bumpy ride. But ever so often, Bumphis has dazzled.

He did just that Saturday.

In a game in which the Bulldogs showed obvious signs of an emotional hangover following their 28-10 win over Auburn, Bumphis made sure that his team wouldn't become an upset victim to Troy. He made play after play for Mississippi State, hauling in six passes for a career-high 180 yards and tied a school record with three touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 30-24 win.

With his the three touchdown receptions, Bumphis tied Eric Moulds and Justin Jenkins for the most touchdown receptions in school history with 17.

Bumphis, who now has a touchdown catch in three straight games for the first time in his Mississippi State career, caught more than half of quarterback Tyler Russell's completions Saturday.

Bumphis got things going with a 72-yard touchdown that came on a screen pass in which he eluded a couple of defenders before sprinting to the end zone early in the second quarter. Bumphis found the end zone again late in the first half after burning his defender on a play-action pass from Russell that went for 58 yards.

After Troy fought back from a 23-7 halftime deficit to make it a 23-21 game, Bumphis put the game away with a tremendous 25-yard grab in the back of the end zone in which he barely kept one foot in bounds while making the catch.