Steve Robertson - Genespage.com

Mississippi State tight end Darrion Hutcherson talks about his team's upcoming game against Louisiana Tech.

Mississippi State has been without the services of tight end Gus Walley in the past two weeks. Senior Darrion Hutcherson has stepped into the starting role in Walley's absence and preformed admirably. "Hutch" is prepared to play an expanded role this weekend even if Walley returns to the starting lineup against Louisiana Tech.

Hutcherson arrived in Starkville after two years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Now in his final college campaign, Hutcherson knows what it takes to compete in the Southeastern Conference. 

"I am always going to be ready," Hutcherson said. "I am always going to work hard in practices, so I was ready when we found out Gus wasn't going to be able to play. I wasn't a situation where I was unprepared. You always work hard for when your number is called. I was comfortable going out there and starting."

While the starter gets the pre-game introduction on the video board, Mississippi State plays a lot of tight ends over the course of a ball game. Hutcherson has a lot of college snaps under his belt, so being thrust into the starting role was really just about being on the field more snaps. 

"It really doesn't matter who plays the first snap," Hutcherson said. "We all have a job to do. When we go out on our own or in two tights. I have a job to do and the other tight ends have to do that job when they go in the game. 

"We all work the same technique and we all have to know the same things. We have to be ready to go in at either spot and be ready for anything. We might even line up in the backfield or on the ball. We just have to be ready for whatever."

The Bulldogs have begun to figure some things out on offense and it showed last week. Hutcherson believes that the Mississippi State offense still has some improvements to make, but that things are trending positively.

"I feel like we're starting to execute better," Hutcherson said. "I feel like we started doing some of that against Texas A&M. I think the one thing we have to do better on offense is execute. When we execute properly, I don't think anyone can stop us."

The task of slowing down Dak Prescott and company is in the hands of Louisiana Tech this week. The Bulldogs of Ruston will take on Mississippi State at 11 AM on Saturday.

Hutcherson reports that he has seen some unique fronts from the Bulldog defense, but he has also seen some familiar looks from what he sees in practice every day.

"I notice that they run a lot of odd," Hutcherson said. "They look to do a lot of different things on defense. They like to run "Raider", 'Mike plug" and a whole bunch of blitzes. We just have to be on top of it and spend some extra time in the film room. We have to make sure we know what they're trying to do with their fronts, so we know what we have to do and we can play fast."

With Mississippi State now at the mid-point at the season, Hutcherson believes that the Bulldogs' best football is still to come. With six contests left, the Alabama native is excited about what can be.

"I think we still have some great football left to play," Hutcherson. "After we lost to Texas A&M, Coach (Dan) Mullen said that if we play up to our potential that we might not lose another game.

"We came out and played well against Troy. Now we want to build on that. We are just coming out rising to get better every single day."

Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech are schedule for an 11 AM kick-off this Saturday in a game that will be televised on the SEC Network. Some tickets remain available through the Mississippi State ticket office. This weekend's home game is one of the final four on the 2015 slate. Two others, Alabama and Ole Miss, have already been announced as sell outs. 


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