Steve Robertson/Genespage.com

Mississippi State redshirt freshman Brandon Bryant talks about his team's up coming game with Auburn.

Just three short weeks ago, Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant was getting ready for his first college snaps. With Auburn's announcement earlier this week that Sean White would take over as quarterback this weekend, Bryant understands what White may be going through this week. The transition from redshirt to active roster member can be one filled with anxiety.

"I'm sure he's going to be a very nervous guy," Bryant said. "When you haven't played any snaps, it can make you nervous to be out there at first. He hasn't been managing the offense this season like Jeremy Johnson has. Jeremy made some mistakes as a starter and he was supposed to be a Heisman candidate. 

"I am sure it's going to make him nervous playing in his first game. That's just natural. We're going to do our best to get after him and see if we can't force him into making some mistakes. 

"Being a redshirt freshman, you don't always know what to expect since this is really the first time you've played since high school. This will be his first time seeing a college defense in person and with a defense like ours, we try to bring a lot of pressure and force the quarterback into making mistakes."

For Bryant, this will be his second college road game. The Tunica, Mississippi native made the dress list for the Southern Miss game, so he is familiar with the Bulldogs road routine. Now that he knows where to sit on the bus, what to pack in his travel bag and where to go for meetings, Bryant reports that he is able to just focus on the task at hand.

"Nine times out of ten I am going to be thinking about the game," Bryant said. "I am just trying to get mentally prepared and focus on what I have to do. I know this weekend that I am going into a hostile environment to play against a team where I don't always know what to expect from them.

"I am just working hard to prepare, to go hard in practice every day and get the good looks. I am watching a lot of film, so that I can be better prepared for what they are going to run in formations and form codes."

The Auburn offense has a lot of moving parts designed to give defenses some false looks and create confusion. Bryant reports that his position coach, Tony Hughes, has drilled down to the safeties to be disciplined in both thought and deed.

"You have to have good eye progression in everything you do," Bryant said. "This week that's really important, because Auburn is an eye candy team. They use a lot of motion with the outside receivers and the fullbacks, so that takes a lot of our eye adjustments from one side to the other. 

"Coach Hughes has stayed on us about eye progression and staying deep. Auburn likes to take shots. They have some fast receivers and we know they are going to try to take some shots down the field."

As Bryant gets ready to pack a bag for the trip to the Plains, he appears to feel confident in the work the Bulldogs have put in this week as they have prepared for a tough Auburn team.

"I feel very comfortable with what we have done," Bryant said. "The first down plan is in, the third down plan is in and the red zone plan is in. I am very confident in what we have to do. The coaches are trusting me more and they are putting me out on the field more.

"I am just going out there expecting do better than I did the game before. We're very prepared and I am very prepared. I just want to get better every game and do what I can to help the team be successful."


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