This is probably going to be a strange game for you since Joe Lee Dunn, up until this year, has been on the MSU sidelines running the MSU defense. Now, you have to face his defense. Talk about facing a Joe Lee Dunn defense during a game and not just at practice like in the past.
"Basically, it is kind of weird playing against him. I have been with him for four years. I'm looking forward to it. Just like I'm sure he's looking forward to the game.
"Coach Dunn is a great coach. I have always enjoyed being around him. I have always respected him. Anytime you get good athletes around him, he is going to be hard to beat."
You don't face a defense like he runs very often. While he was at State the past few years, do you think you picked up some things that should help you against his defense?
"Definitely. The guys that have been here for a while, me, Blake (Jones) and Aaron Lumpkin, have seen it during the spring. Yes, it has to be an advantage. It is going to help the older guys, but what we have to do is have a good week of practice and the younger guys have to pick it up fast. Knowing Coach Dunn, he will have some wrinkles up his sleeves for us. His defense will blitz somebody just about every play and he is going to send them at you. That's the way he plays."
While there are probably going to be things that give you an advantage facing Coach Dunn's defense, he also may have an advantage since he has been around you and other older guys on offense all the years you guys were at State.
"Oh yeah, it goes both ways. I went against him on the scout team one year then the spring every year. I'm sure he has picked up on things that I do. It could be little things. When you have been around football so long, the little things are easy to pick up on. Maybe something that I do before every pass; little things like that. I try to mix it up."
Are you going to try and watch yourself and see if you find little tendencies that you do and maybe try and change them if you find any?
"I did that the last couple of weeks, making sure I don't give away things. I don't think I do anything on a regular basis. While I try to stay away from doing the little things, I'm not saying I don't do any."
Do you think it this will be a fun game for the fans due to seeing two masters at work against each other; MSU offensive coordinator Morris Watts against Memphis defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn?
"I think it will. Anybody that is a fan of football knows that Coach Watt has proven himself over the years and Coach Dunn has. Anytime you have two great coaches like that going against each other, it will be exciting to watch. A lot of times that has to do with the players you have, but anybody who knows anything about those two coaches are excited about watching the game.
"Coach Dunn has faced Coach Watts several times during the years. They know each other and know each other's system. Your system changes a little bit but not much. When somebody has a set way to coach, that's the way they coach."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org