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MSU Turkey-day Q&A

I contacted the MStateSports blog to get this week's Q&A. Here is a link to their questions and my answers. My questions and their responses are below.

1. Is Sylvester Croom the right coach to get your program to a level where you go bowling almost every year? If so, explain what you like about him. If not, who is?
I think Croom has been what the program needed since Jackie. He returned discipline to the program, which it was badly lacking. However, he seems stubborn when approached about change. He is loyal to a fault to many of his assistants, especially Woody McCorvey. Even though it is obvious that the offense is the main problem, he seems willing to blame just about all other parts of the team except the offense.

I am willing to give him another year, maybe two, if changes can be made where needed, especially the offense and special teams. If not, there are plenty of names that people will throw around as possible coaching candidates, but I would really like to see someone young come in that could take the team in a completely new direction. (RSC - please give him two years.)

2. What do you think are the three biggest reasons for what appears to be an offensive regress? Things looked to be headed in the right direction with a decent quarterback returning and two successful running backs.
The first thing is loss of players. We had an off-campus incident before summer practice that cause 5 players to be kicked off the team. Next, we had some injuries that caused us to shuffle the O-line around before the first game, forcing players to quickly change what they had learned and try to adapt. Then we started the year with 2 quarterbacks, and a team with an already fragile offense can't really support that. Miscues, bad reads, and terrible passes were common. We would get behind early in the game and abandon the run game too early, forcing us to throw more. I think many of those things combined have caused many of our offensive woes. (RSC - so playing poor offense is the reason for your offensive woes? Awesome.)

3. Have you noticed significant changes in your defensive philosophy now that Ellis Johnson is gone? Do you think you're missing him?
I don't think there has been a huge difference. We seem to be running many of the same schemes with many of the same personel (sic). One thing that has hurt us defensively is the loss of Jamar Chaney in the first game. His experience at linebacker and as a leader on the defense as a whole has hurt us some.

The loss of Jesse Bowman in the Alabama game will be a huge hit to the line. He was probably our strongest player in the trenches. (RSC - look at it this way. At least he was lost in a season that doesn't matter for you. We lost Peria Jerry for the first three games of a season that could end at 9-4.)

4. Who is the best player on your team that no one really knows about? What makes him so good?
I think Tyson Lee has the potential to suprise (sic) some folks. He has experience from playing JUCO ball and is not afraid to stay in the pocket and take a hit. He is also very mobile and can scramble for yardage when a play breaks down. (RSC - Really? Tyson Lee? Everyone knows about him. Can someone say cop out?)

5. What is your prediction on the game? How will it happen?
Of course I want this to be a Bulldog victory. The defense will need to step up and contain the Rebel offense and the Bulldog O will need to generate some yardage and some rest time for the D. If the Bulldogs win, it will be a low scoring affair, so I am going to call it for State, 14-10. (RSC - if we only score ten points, I will write a column about how much we suck.)