"I think we were ready to play in the first quarter. I thought that (our players) played very hard, very well on both sides of the ball. But you can't get on the goal line and have the fumble that keeps you from getting any points.
"Then we came right back in a few minutes and threw two interceptions that ended up (costing us) points on the board.
"Like we said earlier in the week, when you play (LSU) you don't want to get one-dimensional. You need to be able to throw and run.
"Ray Ray Bivines and Justin Jenkins made some great plays. McKinley Scott made some plays. Kevin (Fant) played hard all the way through. He came back and made some big plays in the 92 yard touchdown drive."
Q and A
Were you encouraged by the play in the first quarter?
"There are a lot of young players out there. If you look at the offensive line, you only have two people who have (played very much). The same thing in the secondary; we are starting a lot of (young) guys there. I thought their alignment was good. They made two busts in the secondary that hurt us, but, other than that, I thought they understood the concept and played as hard as they could play."
There seemed to be a problem with the delay of game penalty. Was that due to getting the play in?
"Only one time. The rest of them were due to taking too long at the line of scrimmage."
What will it take to get the defense to play and tackle better?
"Although there were some guys who played well, you just have to get your players to make the plays. That one period in there (the second quarter) we didn't play very well at all. They ran four or five plays and made some things (happen). The blocking schemes on us, we were supposed to fit underneath in the back door but didn't. When you play this defense, your two safeties have to walk down and make plays."
How much do you believe the youth of the secondary relate to the defensive problems?
"That is probably 75% of it."
Was the defensive speed of LSU the biggest reason for you not scoring?
"No, at the beginning of the game, we moved the ball. But when you get one-dimensional, you have a big problem. When (LSU) is able to bring their blitz...early in the game Kevin did a good job and we made the blitz checks. Later in the game we got beat. Some of our linemen got beat on some moves. But that is going to happen. It happened to everybody that has played (LSU)."
Did the four turnovers cause a breakdown in your defense?
"The two fumbles and two interceptions really hurt us. If you are a very, very good football team then you don't go out and do those things or the defense can overcome them. But there are a lot of teams in the country, if your offense turns the ball over and gives (your opponent) field position, that find it difficult to turn around."
Do you feel you are running out of options to get your program turned around?
"No, quite a few kids played better. The first part of the game both sides were played well. We just have to get some more to play together."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.