Friday, September 19, 2008

Guest Blogger - "

Time again for our guest blogger segment. Here is a Q&A with Mississippi State blogger Jeremy Flint who runs the "Mississippi State Sports Blog". Jeremy and I tie in the race for creative college blog names. So here are Jeremy's answers to 4 of my questions.

1. Georgia Tech fans may not know a lot about your program. We've faced some strong defenses the last two weeks with Boston College and Virginia Tech, but holding Auburn to 3 points is impressive. Is your D that good, or is Auburn's offense just too new to be effective? What is the strongest part of the D?

Through the first 3 games, our defense is ranked 20th overall in the NCAA, higher than Boston College and Virginia Tech. Our tackles are both playing very well right now. Jesse Bowman was named Defensive Lineman of the Week by the SEC after the Auburn game. Our safeties are also a key feature, especially FS Derek Pegues.

Our one weakness on defense at the moment may be at the middle linebacker position. Our starting senior MLB, Jamar Chaney, went down in the first game with a broken leg/ankle, and will miss the rest of the season. He was lead the teams in tackles last year.

2. On the surface, your offense seems to be struggling. Can you describe the "system" that Miss St runs? How would you gameplan against your offense if you were a defensive coordinator?

It is supposedly a West Coast style offense. If you can cover our receivers, force our QB out of the pocket, and block the running lanes, you have pretty much got our offense beat.

The offense is probably the most frustrating part of the team for most of our fans. Our strong point is running the ball. It always has been. We have great running backs in Anthony Dixon and Christian Ducre, as well as freshman Robert Elliot. If our offensive line is having problems opening the running lanes, or we get behind in a game, we seem to abandon the run without hesitation.

3. Who are the key players that Tech fans need to worry the most about on offense and/or defense?
On defense, Derek Pegues is just all over the field. It is not uncommon for him to make a tackle at the line from his free safety position. Keith Fitzhugh is great in the strong safety slot as well.

On offense, our 2 best players are probably Anthony Dixon and Christian Ducre. Dixon is a power runner who will line up and just run over you. Ducre has more finesse to his running style, but isn't afraid to hit you either.

4. What is the general mood of Mississippi State fans in terms of where the program is headed under S.Croom?

I think the honeymoon is just about over. A majority of the fans knew the kind of shape the program was in after Jackie Sherrill retired, and were willing to give Croom plenty of time to rebuild it properly. He looked to be on track to do that last year. Most fans would probably like to see a change at offensive coordinator. It is also unclear how much of the play calling is coming straight from the OC and how much of it is being changed by Croom on the sideline.