Friday, September 18, 2009

Q&A Exchange with For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

Day 2 with our friends at For Whom the Cow Bell Tolls. Today, they answer our questions:

1. 2 games in, how do Mississippi State fans feel about Dan Mullen?
I think the majority of fans are pleased with Dan Mullen. It is great to see the offense actually scoring points (win or lose) and especially the better play on special teams. I don't think he is going to win the West his first year at State, but we are expecting great things from the team.

2. Who should Vanderbilt be most concerned about on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball?
On the defensive side of the ball, keep an eye on Jamar Chaney, our 5th year senior LB. Chaney missed all of last season after suffering a broken leg in the season opener against LaTech. He was granted a medical redshirt and decided to return for his last year of eligibility. He is definitely our leader on defense, with the freedom to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

Zach Smith has really stepped up to fill the large hole in the secondary left by the departure of Derek Pegues. Also keep any eye on Pernell McPhee, Kyle Love, and K.J. Wright on the line.

One the offense, we have a strong staple of running backs. Leading the pack is Anthony Dixon, who has slimmed down to about 235 this year and should be quicker on his feet. Also keep an eye on Robert Elliot. he is also returning from a leg injury and looking better than ever.

At quarterback, we are running a 2-qb system. Tyson Lee seems to be more efficient at passing the ball, while Chris Relf brings a running element to the position. His arm is not super accurate, but he has a lot of power in his throws.

3. If you were designing a game-plan to beat Mississippi State, what would it be?
Auburn seemed to beat us with speed last week. We were trying a new 3-4 scheme on defense, and their offense was just able to beat us down. They were opening up huge lanes against our line, and were using speed to get around the corner and burn us on the outside.

4. Who are MSU fans most concerned about?
Vanderbilt is one of those teams that always gives us some kind of trouble, whether we win or lose. The Commodores have always had a solid defense. On the individual player level, your starting safety worried me, but he is out for the season now after an injury in the LSU game.

5. Who ya got?
Of course I like State in this contest, especially with the starters Vanderbilt has lost to injury recently. I still think it will be a close game - 24-21 State.

One more thing, for all those planning to go to tomorrow's gam, please be sure to bring some cans of food with you to the game to support the Second Harvest Food Bank.

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