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Mike Leach meets with media ahead of Auburn game

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“I think the most important thing for us to do is be the best team that we can be. That’s what we have control over.”

Mississippi State v Georgia Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State head football coach Mike Leach met with the media Monday to discuss MSU’s upcoming home contest against Auburn. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by SEC Network.

Mississippi State enters the week with a 2-6 record. Bowl invitations this season are open to all teams regardless of record. Leach was asked about accepting a bowl bid.

“I certainly would be in favor of it,” Leach said. “I want to play as many games as we can. I mean, we’ve got a young team. The more practice, the more work we get the better, the way I look at it.”

Leach was then asked what recruiting has been like with no visits.

“I think the same thing that’s most important, that’s always most important, about recruiting is important this time is persistence. I’ve always thought the most important thing in recruiting is persistence,” Leach said. “I’ve had the really sharp, flashy, car-salesman-looking guys where you’re thinking, ‘Oh geez, this guy’d be a great recruiter,’ and he’s only an average recruiter. Then I’ve had the guys, you know, the dour, sort of quiet guy that’s a great recruiter and you’d think would be a lousy one. The one thing the good ones all have in common is persistence. I think we have a pretty persistent staff.”

With two games left to be played, Leach was asked what a win would do for the program going into the offseason.

“I think the most important thing for us to do is be the best team that we can be. That’s what we have control over. We’ve got to be the best that we can be. We’ve got kind of a thin squad, but we have to put people in the positions that will help move the team the best and also can elevate their abilities,” Leach said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys that are going to do a lot of great things, but if it was such a great idea to play true freshmen, everybody would do it. I’ve never played this many freshmen before, but it’s kind of fun. I could get used to it. It’s exciting. It ticks you off when you see some mistake out there, but then all of a sudden you see some guy that’s supposed to be in high school or going to the prom a few months ago do something pretty great against Georgia or something like that. It’s fulfilling.”

Graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello was invited to the East-West Shrine Game on Monday. Leach was asked if the assumption is that Costello won’t be using the extra year of eligibility.

“Not sure yet,” Leach said. “I think that’s still in the works. I’m not sure yet.”

Leach was then asked which seniors stood out to him and what that group has meant to him in his first year.

“I think they’ve done a great job. Kobe [Jones] and Erroll [Thompson] are the guys that really jumped to mind,” Leach said. “It’s easy to leave guys out if I don’t have a list in front of me. I guess I’ve really felt the presence of Kobe in particular. Also, Erroll with regard to just energy and focus on our team, just really being committed to our task and what we’re doing.”