In his first start, Lashard Durr was responsible for three tackles and shutting down his side of the field for the most part. Throughout a playing career that began at Harrison Central High School, Durr has simply had a knack for making plays in the open field. On Saturday, the Co-Lin product made a solid stop that likely prevented a South Alabama touchdown.
"It's something that has come naturally to me," Durr said of his ability to diagnose offensive plays. "If I am the last defender, I am going to make that tackle. It doesn't matter if I am the only man over there, I am not going to miss it. I know I have to make that tackle, because I am the last man standing."
Durr plays a very physical brand of football and the 5-11, 197 pounder enjoys being on the business end of a violent tackle. While the offensive schemes are a bit more complicated, Durr's instincts take over once he locates the ball carrier.
"Being physical was all I really knew growing up," Durr explained ."That's what my coaches always taught me to be. I know what I have to do and I have always been coached to play hard through the whole play. That's something I have always done, so when I got here I was already used to that."
Big hits and disciplined plays always seem to make the highlight reel. Durr reports that he looks forward to seeing how he looks on film and that he is always eager to see both the good and bad during the review of the previous week's work.
"I always want to just do my job," Durr said. "I always want to make my play when I have to and just do my part. I feel like I need to work on my technique a little more. I feel like I did pretty good in the game, but I want to be even better this week and just get better every game,"
This week, Mississippi State will lift the lid on the SEC season as South Carolina comes to town. Durr has had the chance to see what the Gamecocks bring to the table during his own film study. The junior corner is impressed with what he has seen.
"They run a lot of the same things that South Alabama does, but they look like they have some good players," Durr said. "We just need to lock in and do our job this week. I expect us to come out and make plays."
While Bulldog fans have the luxury of looking back to last weekend's shocking loss, Durr reports that his unit has done their best to learn from their mistakes and focus on the game ahead.
"We just have to have relentless effort," Durr said. "We have to work hard to make tackles and make plays. We have to want the ball. This weekend, we have to go out and show that we just want it more than they do."
Durr will take the field this Saturday under the lights of Davis Wade Stadium for the first time. While the talented corner is eager to take part in the experience, he understand that the relationship between the Bulldog players and fans will be an important factor against South Carolina.
"I am expecting the crowd to be live and give us some life out there," Durr said. "The team has to go out and play hard every single snap. We can't go out there and give up on any plays. We just have to go hard.
"It's very important to have a live crowd out there. Without our fans, I don't know where we would be. We need the crowd on our side. If we get up, we need them and if we get down, we need them to lift us up. The fans are our motivation. They get us pumping and when we get pumping, we do good things."
The Bulldogs had some let downs in the second half of the season opener. Durr reports that all involved with the Bulldog football program have worked hard this week to prevent a repeat of these unfortunate events this week.
"Our coaches have been talking all week about us playing hard and giving relentless effort," Durr said. "We have to run to the ball and make our plays when they are there to be made. We have to do our job. I am ready to right now. I am ready to go make plays for this team and all of our fans."
Mississippi State (0-1) will take on South Carolina (1-0) this Saturday in the SEC opener for the Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 6 P.M. There are tickets available through the Mississippi State ticket office. The Davis Wade Stadium clear bag policy remains in effect. For more information visit HailState.com