Croom Comments

Tuesday is a big day for Southeastern Conference head football coaches to meet with the sportswriters and sportscasters who cover SEC football. Here are excerpts from Mississippi State Head Coach Sylvester Croom's Tuesday briefing. State will be in Tuscaloosa Saturday to take on Alabama.

OPENING COMMENTS FROM MISSISSIPPI STATE COACH SYLVESTER CROOM:

"Our game last week versus Kentucky was a big win for us. As I said before the game, dealing with adversity all year long, we had a chance for the first time to deal with a positive situation. It was big win for us in a lot of ways from a coaching standpoint in what we are trying to get done. At this point, every win we have is big. To win two SEC games in a row is very positive for our program. Our defense played extremely well. I thought we fed off the interception by Quinton Culberson. It put some points on the board. Usually, when the defense puts points on the board, or gives you a quick turnover, that's always a positive as far as increasing your chances to win football games."

ON THE KICKING GAME:

"Our kicking game was outstanding. Our kickers did an excellent job. Jared Cook and Keith Andrews probably kicked as good as they have for us all year. We did a good job as far as distance and hang time in our punting. We had several placements where we backed Kentucky in poor field position."

ON THE OFFENSE:

"Offensively, we ran the ball very well. Our runners played well. For the most part, our offensive line did a good job blocking, particularly with the loss of Chris McNeil which made us move Brian Anderson to center. In a lot of ways, we lost two positions there. Johnny Wadley came in and gave us all he's got. I was terribly disappointed in our passing and catching. Omarr ran the ball well, but he was not as sharp as he normally would be. Our receivers basically did not show up after having a fine performance against Florida. I think they understand how important they are to any success we can have this week at Alabama."

ON ALABAMA:

"We are going to play Alabama at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. It will be new territory for us as far as having an opportunity to win a road game, a conference road game and three conference games in a row. All of those will be landmarks for our program right now. It's exciting for me personally to have a chance to play the University of Alabama, where I played, and in my hometown as well. Alabama is a team of great tradition; they have a lot of talent and speed on the team. They are playing at home; very few people have gone in to that stadium and come out with a victory. It's going to be an up hill battle for us, but it's one that we look forward to."

ON MICHAEL HEARD:

"Mike (Heard) has really come around. He has constantly continued to work hard and has gotten better each week. He has made a significant impact. He has increased our team speed on defense."

ON INJURIES:

"We are still a little beat up. They guys that were out yesterday will probably be out today. Hopefully, we can get them back tomorrow. Jerious (Norwood) and Chris (McNeil) will be limited in things."

ON THE COACHING STAFF TIES TO ALABAMA:

"We have not discussed that. All we have discussed is trying to win this ballgame. We all know how each other feels."


BamaMag Top Stories