Adams Eager For Next Challenge

Effort, intensity and technique are the name of the game for the Mississippi State defensive line. Flexibility has also been an important attribute for Bulldog big man Nelson Adams. The redshirt sophomore has earned a spot in the regular rotation as a defensive end after serving reserve duty as a defensive tackle last fall. Adams reports the position chance has been no big deal.

"I am just working on being consistent," said Adams. "It really wasn't that big of a move for me, because I played defensive end in high school.

"I guess I was sort of used to it.

"I feel like I can play anywhere they need me to play. I feel comfortable at both positions and Coach (David) Turner has me practicing at both positions most weeks.

"I am happy with either or."

Adams has found a home as a defensive end on the famed "1B" defense that rotates in and out with the starters. Adams' unit gets meaningful snaps early in games to get them into the flow of the competition and to ensure that all players in each personnel group remains fresh.

"We pretty much know when we're going in," said Adams. "The '1As' have the first series and then we usually have the second series.

"It just sort of rotates from there and we all go in and out.

"Sometimes we might rotate four and four or two and two. It just depends on how the game is going.

"We do all of that to keep everybody fresh for four quarters, so we can finish games."

Despite a national ranking as high as #3 and talk of a potential berth in the college football playoffs, Adams reports that his team's view of itself has not changed.

"I still feel like we're the underdogs in every game we play," said Adams. "We don't listen to the hype.

"We just keep playing like the coaches tell us to."

The Bulldogs will face what most consider their toughest foe to date this Saturday when the #2 Auburn Tigers come to town.

Adams has been impressed with what he has seen on film from the Tiger offensive line.

"They're big, they block for the run really good and they are good at what they do," said Adams. "They try to cover up people.

"We just have to read our keys, play our technique and just react real quick."

These suddenly high profile Dogs are learning some things on the fly, but Adams reports the squad has a real sense of who they are and what they can accomplish.

"We're all still the same," said Adams. "Not much has changed with us. I guess we probably watch more film now, but none of us have changed.

"It's still the same game and things don't change a whole lot week to week for us as far as what we do to get ready.

"It doesn't matter if we're playing Southern Miss, UAB or Auburn. We are going to prepare the same and we're going to work hard to get better. The most important game is the next game and that's how we look at each week."

While the meeting rooms, practice fields and study halls are hype free zones, the players still have to go to class. There is no shortage of people eager to tell the Bulldogs how good they are.

"We're just trying to focus on the game," said Adams. "It's a one game season each week. The coaches keep us away from the media pretty good and they just get us ready for the game on Saturday.

"This week we're just focusing on Auburn and we're not looking passed them. We need to stay focused on them and get to the bye week."

Before the Bulldogs get a weekend off, they have the matter of defending their home turf against the reigning SEC champion Auburn Tigers.

"We are expecting a great crowd," said Adams. "It's fun playing at home in front of your own fans, especially when it's a big game like this."

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