Making Plays And Making Progress

It wasn't a victory so nobody on their side is satisfied. But making plays, whether routine or exceptional; gaining a lot of yards; and putting up points for three quarters in a conference contest is another step forward by the Bulldog offense. "We moved the ball," said Coach Les Koenning. "When you only punt the ball one time it's a pretty good deal."

The Bulldog deal can keep improving though, and must if Mississippi State is to translate play-making into game-winning. So for offensive coordinator Koenning and staff it was back to business Monday as preparations began for the upcoming home game with Bowling Green. Koenning talked briefly following the practice about results from the last game, and the continued rotation of quarterbacks Tyler Russell and Dak Prescott.

Yes, Koenning said, the offense accomplished some good things against Louisiana State. "But we had chances to make plays and when you've got those chances you've got to make those plays, that's what it comes down to. They (LSU) did, they made the plays in crucial situations and we fought them for three quarters. Those plays came up and we tell our kids now, it's going to come up, we can't tell you when it's going to come up, how it's going to come up, what part of the game; you have to be prepared for it."

Were you satisfied with the number of big plays, the team is averaging over ten a game? "That's good! That's good. No, again making the right reads and decisions helped in that. So I think it's been very good for us."

What are obstacles to deal with in a two-quarterback system? "I think the obstacles are really good because you've got two guys that can play. So the competition is great. When you turn in your grades each day there's all wondering what they did, and ‘Coach I'm not sure about that?' Well, here it is, we went over it as a staff and went through it and this is it. So it's been really, really great. The competition has been great, so when you get out there they don't want to mess up. When you've got one guy you pretty much are for sure. But with two of them out there it's a lot of competition and that's good for the position."

What were they both successful at in the first half? "They knew what to do, they went out there and executed it. I think that's part of being successful, knowing that you've got to be on your game, that there's somebody sitting on the bench right behind you who can play too. You know, when you create depth in a position that's a coach's best ally right there."

You've worked with Tyler for years, to bounce back after missing three games and first play take a sack; step right up and make plays was that what you expected? "Oh yeah. I expect it out of both of them, I really do. That's what we expect and we were happy for him, he took it down there and put us in the right play a couple of times too. So that was really good."

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