Steve Robertson - Genespage.com

Mississippi State linebacker Gerri Green talks about his big game against Troy and what to expect this weekend from Louisiana Tech.

Mississippi State linebacker Gerri Green has played largely in reserve role this season. Last weekend, Bulldog starting middle linebacker Richie Brown suffered an ankle injury. Green responds by having the best game of his young Bulldog career. Green's 11 tackles led all players in the Bulldogs 45-17 win.

"I had to step in and feel like I played good," Green said. "I made a few mistakes, but when I needed to make the play, I made the play. I gained a lot of confidence after this game. I was able to be out there for an extended period of time and I was able to get a lot of reps. I'm glad I had that game and I feel like I can build on it. 

"I just want to correct the mistakes I made and get those things down. I am working on all of that and I am just going on from there."

As a redshirt freshman, Green is just beginning to adjust to playing in America's toughest football league. The Greenville, Mississippi native reports that being able to put together some consecutive series enabled him to establish a rhythm.

"It helped a lot knowing that I was going to go right back out there," Green said. "I wasn't thinking about having to sit two or three series. I knew I needed to go back out there and make plays. Being out there consistently allowed me to get into the flow of the game. I really enjoyed being able to stay in the game and just being able to play series after series."

Green reports that his position coach, Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, was pleased with his efforts, but showed a few areas of improvement for Green in the film room.

"He pointed out a few mistakes, but overall he said I did a good job," Green said. "He told me that I needed a game like that and now he wants me to build on that confidence. He told me that he wants me to be ready to play and get better every single week."

With Richie Brown's status not immediately clear heading into Saturday, Green is prepared to step in and play the bulk of the snaps if necessary this week as well.

"I am working more preparation and working hard to get my mind right," Green said. "I am doing all I can to be more prepared and to be able to play as much as I need to. I am probably working harder now than I was before. I am just trying to get better in every aspect of the game,"

Green sat out last season as a redshirt while he recovered from an ACL injury that he suffered as a high school senior. That time away from being a game day participant allowed Green to adjust to the more sophisticated schemes he would see in practice and on game day.

"The hardest part of it all is the mental part of it," Green explained. "You can be ready to play physically, but if you don't have the mental part of it down, you can't play. It's just another level. You have to know what to do, when to do it and why you're doing it. That makes you play better physically."

Halfway through his first college season on the active roster, Green has learned that the team who is better prepared mentally has a decided advantage when the physical contest begins.

"Whoever is the best prepared is going to execute the best," Green said. "It's all about how you prepare and how you practice. You have to have good practice habits. As long we do all of the things that Coach Diaz and Coach Mullen preach, then we have the chance to be a great team.

"I know that if I work hard to do the things that they tell me to do that I will execute better. If we all work together and do that on the entire defense, then we have the chance to be a really good defense. I feel like everybody is working hard and that we're going to be good."

Green and the Bulldogs host Louisiana Tech this Saturday in the final non-conference game on the 2015 regular season slate. The SEC Network will handle the TV broadcast, but some tickets remain available through the Mississippi State ticket office and third party vendors.


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