Q&A with Matt Mauck

LSU's quarterback discusses the Tigers' upcoming game with Mississippi State

Q: Coach Saban talked about the Mississippi State defense does a lot of things that force you to be patient on offense. What's he talking about?

A: Mississippi State's defense does a great job of causing negative plays. I think what he's talking about patience-wise is that they're going to get some of their plays, but you're going to just have to wait and hopefully catch them off guard a few times


Q: How much was the Miami-Ohio game a boost for your confidence?

A: I think it helps out a little bit team-wise. It takes a little bit of pressure off of everybody as far as knowing the offense is going to get there. It's on its way and we're progressing toward where we want to be.


Q: Do you guys plan on practicing with a wet ball? You saw what Tennessee went through.

A: The Citadel game, it wasn't raining during the game but the field was wet. It doesn't seem to bother me too much. I had a couple of high school games that I played (in the rain). You do kind of have to get used to it a little bit. We had a practice this year (in the rain) that we used the same two balls all practice. I've had a little bit of experience with that type of situation.

(Editor's Note: The forecast for Saturday doesn't include rain as of noon Wednesday, Sept. 25).


Q: What were your impressions of the Auburn-Mississippi State game?

A: I thought the score wasn't a real good indication. I thought the teams were a lot more even than what the score ended up being. Mississippi State just had too many turnovers, and that was their problem. I thought their defense played pretty decent.


Q: Do you expect to do a lot of checking off because of their blitzing?

A: I think the big thing is Mike (middle linebacker) declarations. It tells our offensive line who they're going to block. I think that's the most important thing.


Q: You didn't play too much in the last two Mississippi State games, but what did you notice the LSU line doing to the Mississippi State defense?

A: I think it was just…playing with a lot of intensity and playing hard. The offensive line did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage, and we're going to have to have that again this year. I don't know if there's one thing to pinpoint that they did differently against State that they didn't do against any other team. In that game (last year), things gelled and LSU dominated.


Q: LSU has dominated Mississippi State the last ten years. How do you block that out and realize it doesn't mean anything for this game?

A: Any time you play an SEC team you have a chance of getting beat. …You can never really look at the past. Tennessee beat us in the first game last year, so I don't think you can ever overlook anybody in the SEC.


Q: Is that something the players don't worry about but the fans talk about it?

A: I think so because you're so busy putting in new stuff every year, it's kind of hard to look back… You almost forget what you did last year because you're so busy…


Q: Are you satisfied with where you are at this stage of the season, and what would you have to work on?

A: I think just accuracy, decision-making...you always have to improve. You can really never be satisfied with where you are. I think I have improved and I'm getting maybe where I'd like to be, but I think there's a long way to go.


Q: How much tape do you watch a week and how crucial is it to the success of a quarterback?

A: I try to watch a little bit everyday. I think it's important because you can go out (to practice) and see a little bit (of the opponent's defense) against the scout team, but until you watch it on film you don't notice the little things that tip you off.


Q: Were you taking notes during the Auburn-Mississippi State game?

A: No, not really. We're going to see film throughout the whole week and get a whole lot of opportunities to see that game.


Q: Does the 11:30 start affect you?

A: I don't think it's going to be that big a factor. It's on TV and you like playing on TV. That's a plus.


Q: So you wouldn't agree with those people who talk about a daytime jinx in Tiger Stadium?

A: I wouldn't say it's a daytime jinx. Football is football no matter whether it's at nighttime or during the day. You have to play hard and play well in order to win. I don't think there's a jinx. But I think a lot of times you'd rather play at nighttime, especially in Tiger Stadium, because it's such a special time. I think we're going to be fine playing Saturday at 11:30.


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