Thursday, October 9, 2008

SEC Blog Exchange: Mississippi State Sports Blog Answers Our Questions

Our friends at the Mississippi State Sports Blog answered a few questions in anticipation of Saturday's Game with the Commodores.

1. Coming off the bye week, what adjustments are you hoping Mississippi State will make?

Our offense made significant progress in the second half of the LSU game. I would like to see us sustaining more offensive drives, running the ball hard and using short passes to keep momentum. It will be interesting to see how walk-on QB Tyson Lee handles the offense in his second start ever.

2. What is the biggest strength/weakness this team has?

Our strength is definitely our defense. Within that group, the line and the safeties are top notch. We are playing short handed at linebacker with the loss of our starting linebacker and team leader Jamar Chaney. He suffered a broken leg in the season opener against LaTech.

On offense, we have a great running game (when we don't abandon it) with Anthony Dixon and Christian Ducre. Ducre also poses a passing threat. He rolled out several times against LSU as a receiver and did pretty good.

3. How much does the loss of Jamar Chaney affect your defense?

We are young at the middle linebacker position, rotating in two freshmen in place of a seasoned, senior player. I think he was also a great leader on the field, helping to make sure the defense was in the right position, picking up changes the offense would make, etc.

We are all hoping that he is able to get a medical redshirt and possibly return next year.

4. Based on the depth chart, it appears as if the Bulldogs have some experience, yet miscues have plagued the team all season long, what gives?

It seems like sophomore QB Wesley Carroll slowly regressed as the season went on. He was definitely not playing up to what he showed on the field last year. With that, we have fallen behind in most games and abandon what is our strong point - the running game - and start trying to force plays to happen, rather than letting them develop.

Of course, when the offense can't stay on the field for more than a three-and-out, the defense gets worn down and can't make the plays they need to against the opposing offense.

There also seems to be a lack of discipline that causes players to make errors - off sides, false starts, interference, etc - and that can take the wind out of any momentum you have.

5. At 1-4 is there any hope for a bowl this season? If the team doesn't go to a bowl will there be calls for Sly's head?

With the rest of our schedule, there is a slim possibility that we can be bowl eligible. If Larry Templeton were still the AD, I would say that Croom is safe for another year whether we make a bowl or not. With Greg Byrne at the helm now, I am not sure what will happen. All indicators say that Croom will be around for another year, but most fans would like to see some changes in the staff, particularly on the offensive side.

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