Steve Robertson/Genespage.com

Brown Talks Week One Win

Mississippi State picked up a road win in week one as the Bulldogs emerged victorious over the home standing Golden Eagles of Southern Miss. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to 102 yards on the ground and limited the hosts to just one offensive touchdown. Linebacker Richie Brown was the leading tackler in the game with 11 personnel stops.

"It went pretty good," Brown said of his team's first night in the new defense. "I think some young guys learned a lot of things. We had some simple mistakes here and there that would should have capitalized on here or there, but all in all it was a good night."

A key point in the ball game took place just before the first half ended. Southern Miss was set up with a first and goal to go at the Mississippi State three yard line. The four ensuing plays netted just two yards as the Bulldogs stood tall on their own goal line.

"That goal line stand was big for our defense," Brown said. "They were trying to run it down our throats and we were trying to send a message not to do that.  I think the whole defense did good on that. Everybody was swarming to the ball.

"I got in on that a little bit. They were running right down my 'A' gap."

The Bulldog defense spent most of the first half on the field as the Mississippi State offense was limited to just seven offensive snaps. After a Bulldog score on their first possession after intermission, Brown made a play that led to a reversal of fortunes. 

"I was just running to the ball like usual and the ball just popped up," Brown said of his interception. "Great things happen when you run to the ball. We had great coverage on their receivers and I just got a nice bounce. You have to be able to create those turnovers."

The Bulldogs scored on three of their third quarter possessions, which provide some distance between them and the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss pulled out all of the stops including a pair of onsides kicks and gadget plays. 

Brown reports that his team expected the Eagles to come out ready to play hard to defend their home turf.

"We knew they were going to come out and be a better team this year," Brown said. "We knew they had a chip on their shoulder. They are a much better team. We weren't surprised by that at all. We knew that they would be."

Southern Miss struggled to establish a ground game, but found some success through the air netting 311 passing yards. Brown admitted that the Eagles presented some new wrinkles that took some time to adjust to.

"They had some really good schemes going," Brown explained. "They came with some different formations and stuff like that and some things we really hadn't practiced. That's really not a big deal. We should have covered it.

"We had a little air here and a little bit of first game jitters. We had some little errors that we'll get fixed."

The trip to Hattiesburg provided Brown the chance to be closer to his hometown of Long Beach, Mississippi as well as a return visit to the site of some camping dates when he was searching for his college home.

"I played in a few Brett Favre 7-on-7 championships here," Brown said. "We went undefeated here a couple of years. I like winning here. It's fun."

With the Bulldogs now 1-0, the stage is set for a huge ball game this week as Mississippi State hosts the Tigers of LSU in the home opener in Starkville. The Tigers saw their game on Saturday cancelled due to inclement weather.

Brown does not believe that many if any conclusions can be drawn from the fact that the Bayou Bengals did not get the chance to work the kinks out against McNeese State. The junior linebacker expects a hard fought Saturday night battle against the boys from Baton Rouge.

"They're a good team and they're going to play some good hard ball," Brown said of the Tigers. "I am sure that they will come out aggressive and we are going to play our best."

The Tigers are a much different animal when it comes to offensive play calling. Les Miles likes to line up and run downhill, while Southern Miss like to spread the ball around more on the perimeter.  Brown reports that the change in opponent's offensive philosophy will provide a unique set of challenges.

"It's a little bit different offense," Brown said of LSU. "It's running downhill. That's how LSU is and we have to prepare for that this week. We'll have to switch gears a little bit. There was a little bit of LSU in what (Southern Miss) did here and there, but we have to transfer for more of a downhill running mindset this week."


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