Gerri Green has worked some at Viper, inside linebacker and outside linebacker. Green appreciates the trust his coaches have in him and believes that the multiple positions have provided him with a greater understanding of how the Bulldog defense works.
"Once you get into the defense and learn multiple positions, you get an understanding of what the man next to you is doing," Green explained. "Once you start moving around in the defense, it just all starts to click. It's easier to see the bigger picture. You get an overall understanding of what the defense is trying to do.
"I feel like all of this moving around has really just helped me be a better player on defense. I feel like knowing what everybody else is going to be doing, it helps me have a better idea of what I need to be doing."
The Bulldogs enter this weekend's tilt with Auburn refreshed from a bye week and a few practices to sharpen the saw before the meat of the SEC schedule arrives. Green reports that recent practices enabled him and the rest of the Mississippi State players to do some self scouting and clean up as they prepared for the visit from the Tigers.
"It gave us a chance to get more comfortable with everything and gave us a chance to work on the mental aspect of things," Green explained. "I just want to be a faster football player, so the mental part is like the biggest part of the game. The more you can get mentally, the faster you will be as a player."
While some players may have a preference when it comes to where they begin each and every play, Green likes being able to be multiple and to keeping opposing offenses guessing.
"I feel pretty comfortable wherever they put me," Green said. "I feel like I can get the job done no matter where they put me on the field. I am always going to give my all no matter where they put me. I just want to help the defense make plays."
Green has had a hand in 14 tackles on the season, a pass break up and a fumble recovery. In the Bulldogs' last win on the road at UMASS, Green registered four personnel stops. The personable linebacker hopes to build on that showing this week against Auburn.
"It's time to attack every week," Green said. "The mindset in practice is to keep going hard and keep the intensity up. We just have to keep our focus up and have one speed all through practice.
"Auburn is a fast and dynamic offense. They get the ball to their play makers and if you give them the ability to make plays, they will. We have to be a disciplined defense and stay focused on our keys. I feel like if we do what we need to do, then we can get the job done."
The Bulldogs have a mix of experienced veterans and some newcomers who have never had to line up and face the moving parts that make up the Auburn offense. Green reports that the returning starters have done their best to share their experiences of facing the Tiger offensive system.
"We are just telling them to stay calm and stay focused," Green said. "You have to do what you're coached to do and do what you did in practice. You can't let the environment get to you or get caught up in things you see. We just have to do the things we have been doing all week and we should be okay."
While some of the Bulldogs know what to expect, this will be the first time that Auburn has faced a Peter Sirmon defense. The 3-4 alignment should make for some intriguing match-ups on Saturday.
"It's a fun defense," Green said with a smile. "It's an attacking defense that gets after the quarterback. We are looking to cause turnovers. It's been fun so far, but we still have a lot to work on. I am looking forward to getting our team back to Davis Wade Stadium. It's just the best place to play and I have missed the cowbells. It feels like we haven't been there in a while. The bye week sort of threw me off a little bit, so I am ready to get back in front of our fans and play a game."
The Bulldogs (2-2) will take on Auburn (3-2) this Saturday with kickoff set for 11 AM. The SEC Network will handle the broadcast duties. Mississippi State opened as a favorite in the eyes of the odds makers, but the line has shifted more towards Auburn in recent days.