Jones Previews South Beach Bowl Trip

Sophomore defensive lineman Chris Jones is excited about where his team is headed. While Jones is eager to get to south Florida for the Capital One Orange Bowl, the walking mismatch is excited about what is to come for the Bulldogs in the New Year. A talent crop of red shirt defensive linemen have stepped up their efforts during bowl practice, drawing the praise of big #96.

Chris Jones profile

"A lot of them are picking up," said Jones of the young pups. "They are picking up and they're starting to get it. They're beginning to get the feel of the game.

"During the season, they don't get as many reps, but you can see now that they're getting it. They are getting quality snaps now and you can see them getting the feel of things."

With an up close view of the rising redshirts, Jones is confident about what the trio of interior defensive lineman will bring to the active roster next fall.

"We have some great depth coming from these young guys," said Jones. "Cory Thomas, Braxton Hoyett and Grant Harris are all coming along pretty well. They are coming along and it gives me a lot of confidence about next year, because they are progressing every day.

"You're either getting better or getting worse and these guys are getting better every day and that's the best thing about it."

While Jones has had a glimpse of what the future may bring, he is ready to go to war one final time with veteran Bulldogs Kaleb Eulls, P.J. Jones and Preston Smith.

The group has put in a lot of work to get to this point and are now working towards one more win.

"Practice has been very physical," said Jones. "We are just staying together and working hard to get ready for all of those cut blocks. We are just doing our best to stay focused and get ready for the game."

The extra practice time that a bowl game allows has given the Bulldog defense some extra time to prepare for an offensive scheme that rarely see.

"We haven't played a team like this," said Jones of Georgia Tech. "It's a good thing that we have some extra time to get ready. They are a good team and they play hard. You would really like to play them either at the beginning of the season or the end of the season, because you just don't see teams like them every week."

Because of the rare brand of offense that the Yellow Jackets' run, Jones believes they force opponents to really focus on the small things.

"You have to really pay attention to the details," said Jones. "Their offense is crazy and they can trick you with eye candy. You have to be focused and read your keys.

"They are a great rushing team. Their quarterback (Justin Thomas) and fullback (Zach Laskey) are very impressive guys. They are a very impressive group. They have been running that offense for years, so we have to pay attention to what they are doing and stay in our gaps."

Jones and the Bulldog defense were eager to get back on the practice field to begin preparations for a new opponent and flush away the negative feelings of losing the Golden Egg.

"We were eager to get going again," said Jones. "After losing the most important game of the year, we just wanted to get that our of our system. We still have a lot built up from that game. We have to get it out."

A win in the Orange Bowl would be a very solid pallet cleanser for the Mississippi State team and fanbase.

"We're excited to go to South Florida," said Jones. "Who wouldn't be excited, it's Miami, but at the same time we want to go win this game. A win would mean the most wins in a season in the history of the program. 11 wins in a season would mean that we were still making history and we want to keep doing that."

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