Tyler Russell saw playing time during the LSU game. Could it be a sign of what's to come? (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
For the second week in a row, Mississippi State is coming off an emotional loss. Heading into the LaTech game, what do you think is the mindset of the team?
C.G. Mosley: Man, it's hard to say...they have to be disappointed, they just have to be, but maybe I'm speaking on how I personally feel. Surely Dan Mullen will have some very productive practices that will squash any hint of a confidence issue among the team. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad our guys are feeling the pain from back to back losses. Once upon a time, the MSU teams of the past expected to lose games against Auburn and LSU. Those days are long gone...when this team loses the games they truly believe they can win, it hurts.
OURstateBlog: I think anyone would be lying to themselves if they thought this team was anything but emotionally drained 3 games into the season. Two tough, tough losses in SEC play probably is playing on these guys especially after they expected to be 2-1, maybe 3-0 at this point. It's no knock on Tech, but this game couldn't have come at a better time for our Bulldogs.
What's your take on Coach Dan Mullen subbing Tyler Russell in for Chris Relf early in the fourth quarter against LSU? Also even though the game was somewhat out of hand, do you think Mullen should have used all of his timeouts?
C.G. Mosley: Chris Relf just couldn't get things clicking and everyone in Davis Wade could see it. From where I sat, he never looked comfortable at all in that game. I've heard all the media banter regarding Mullen's decision to put Russell in and I have to say that I personally feel it was the right call. It was obvious that MSU was not going to win that game with Relf at the helm. It was time to try something...ANYTHING...to get that 'spark' going Mullen referenced in the post-game press conference. As far as the time-outs go, it wouldn't have mattered if Mullen had fifteen time-outs at his disposal...it just wasn't meant to be Thursday night.
OURstateBlog: No doubt in my mind that Mullen sub's Tyler in there to protect his starter Relf from getting hurt behind a battered offensive line. Do I believe Mullen put Tyler in there to "spark the offense"? Maybe a little, but I still think it was more for damage control.
Like Mississippi State, LaTech is coming off a disappointing Week 3 loss, too (Houston rallied down 28 points to beat the Bulldogs 35-34 in Ruston, La.). What do expect from this week's game?
C.G. Mosley: I must confess, I don't know much about this LaTech team and I've been too depressed after our latest 'setback' to really do any research. However, the first week of the season I watched the game between LaTech and Southern Miss. LaTech seemed to have a very balanced offense and led most of that game before Southern rallied late to get the win. I know they managed to win the following week against Central Arkansas in OT but gave up a lot of points. Mississippi State is simply better than this team...at least on paper. Let's not forget what happened the last time LaTech played Mississippi State. State should win, but nothing is a given here.
OURstateBlog: As much as our guys have got to be down after last week's game, the Tech Bulldogs have got to be feeling even worse. up 34-7 at one point in that game i believe and to have Houston come back and score 4 times unanswered has got to just completely deflate a young squad like Tech. I really expect them to come out flat on Saturday and for State to capitalize on some big offensive plays early. Look for Ballard and Perkins to break some big ones early and often.
After opening the season with three straight Tigers (Memphis, Auburn and LSU), Mississippi State is about to embark on a stretch of playing two straight Bulldogs (LaTech and Georgia). "Can't we be more creative?" says the Mississippi State Bulldog fan. To break up the monotony, give LaTech's new nickname.
C.G. Mosley: I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed the monotony with the mascots. I know this will probably offend someone, but every time I think of LaTech I think of the movie The Waterboy. The film's hero, Bobby Boucher, played 'foos-ball' for the South Central Louisiana State University Mud Dogs. When I think of Louisiana Tech, I think of the Mud Dogs...I can't help it.
OURstateBlog: I'd have to go with the I-20 Easy Riders. Sorry, that's all I got.
What's your prediction for Mississippi State-LaTech?
C.G. Mosley: Mississippi State rebounds with a big win here...42-10.
OURstateBlog: I think it's a good bounce back game for State, they come out pumped up and ready to play with the Black Jerseys on and we put this one away early. I'll say 42-13 State.