Mississippi State head football coach Jackie Sherrill, during his Monday morning teleconference, talked about Fant starting at quarterback against Oregon, what freshmen may play this season, what players won't play against Oregon, the cooling vests that Oregon may wear during the game, his tight end situation and how his middle linebackers have adjusted to the new 4-3 scheme."> Mississippi State head football coach Jackie Sherrill, during his Monday morning teleconference, talked about Fant starting at quarterback against Oregon, what freshmen may play this season, what players won't play against Oregon, the cooling vests that Oregon may wear during the game, his tight end situation and how his middle linebackers have adjusted to the new 4-3 scheme.">

Jackie Sherrill August 25th Teleconference

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/coaches/football/sherrill.jpg" align="left" width="121" height="160"> Mississippi State head football coach Jackie Sherrill, during his Monday morning teleconference, talked about Fant starting at quarterback against Oregon, what freshmen may play this season, what players won't play against Oregon, the cooling vests that Oregon may wear during the game, his tight end situation and how his middle linebackers have adjusted to the new 4-3 scheme.

Game information from Monday morning's Jackie Sherrill teleconference.
  • Oregon will be the first PAC-10 school to visit Mississippi State football.
  • 45,000 is expected for the game.
  • Gametime is set for 8:04 p.m.
  • The game will be televised by ESPN2
  • There is heavy road construction on highway 12, so take that into consideration when you come to the game.
  • Kevin Fant will start at quarterback due to his performances during the pre-season practices.
  • Up to 12 true freshmen may play this season. According to Coach Sherrill, freshmen that will have very prominent roles this season are, "a couple of receivers (Omarr Conner, Tyler Threadgill), an offensive lineman (Donovan Davis), four or five guys in the secondary (Quinton Culberson, Jeramie Johnson, Adrian Griffin, David Heard) and probably three to four guys up front (Deljuan Robinson, Andrew Powell, Corey Clark, Mike Heard)." When asked if that spoke well of the freshman class, Coach Sherrill said, "the freshman, redshirt freshman and sophomore classes - there's 54 of them - will win a lot of games here." [I listed the players.-Gene]
  • True freshman cornerback Quinton Culberson, who has been injured, will play in the game, although Coach Sherrill wasn't sure if he would be the starter. It depends on how he does in practice this week.
  • According to Coach Sherrill, injured offensive guards Brad Weathers and Johnny Wadley will not play in the game. Chris McNeil, Otis Riddley, Will Rogers and Avery House will take their place. Donovan Davis will also be worked at guard this week in practice. When asked about the injuries, Coach Sherrill said, "we don't talk about our injuries. The only thing we will tell you is if a player is going to be out or not."
  • When asked about the large number of injuries around the SEC, Coach Sherrill said, "we haven't lost anyone for the year, although the injury to Brad Weathers is different and could have been there for a long time and just now came out. Knock on wood, the (new pre-season practice schedule) has cut down on the injuries."
  • Coach Sherrill has requested that Nike provide his team the same cooling vests that they are providing Oregon. His request was made last Friday. So far, no vests have been sent. He thinks Nike should be fair to both teams, especially since both are clients of Nike. As for as Oregon using the vests, Coach Sherrill said, "I don't have any opposition to them using them. But when you have teams under contract from the same vendor, then you question why they are allowing one to do it and not the other. There's an ethical issue there that Nike has to address." When the reporter said that it was his understanding that Nike had offered them to MSU, Coach Sherrill said, "not until I asked the question. And they didn't offer them until Friday afternoon. It's Monday and we still don't have them. When are we going to have them? And how long does it take to get to that point where our team is accustomed to them? You don't just walk in and put (equipment) on a player on gameday that you have never tested."
  • Aaron Lumpkin will start at tight end. Coach Sherrill mentioned that he has two freshmen tight ends "that have tons of ability" and that he is trying to get one of them ready to play by midseason. He believes that particular freshman tight end will be outstanding. He didn't mention which true freshman TE he was talking about.
  • When asked how the new 4-3 defense has helped his middle linebackers, Coach Sherrill said, "T. J. Mawhinney and Kenneth Kern are true middle linebackers. Guys who are inside linebackers not only have to be physical but they have to understand leverage and play square. Outside linebackers don't have to play as square as the inside linebackers. What I'm saying is they have to play off the blocks of the defensive players a lot better than the outside linebackers because the outside linebackers have a lot more room and space to move."

  • Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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