[Premium site article. Portions of this article are on the free football skuttle-butt] Coach Sherrill talks about last week's game, Troy State, injuries, playing younger players and other things.


Players that played well: "I thought that Korey Banks played his best game. (After reviewing the game-film) Dwayne Robertson really played a lot better than we thought he did during the game. Josh Morgan played well on pass-protection. He has played well in the secondary. Jason Clark played well later in the game. He had a concussion during the game but is fine now."

Player Injuries: "We won't know until later in the week if Conner Stephens (ankle and knee) will play against Troy State. Mario Haggan (ankle) probably will not play. We will know later in the week if Tommy Watson will play. If Tommy is not back, then Blake Jones will start at center. Hopefully, he will be back but with a turf toe you just don't know. It is something that can linger on for a long period of time. Dicenzo, hopefully will be back this week. T. J. Mawhinny has a thumb and elbow injury but we played him Saturday. But he wasn't really healthy. We have a lot of other bumps and bruises."

Troy State: "They started off the season playing Nebraska. And they played very, very well in the first part of the game. Then they turned the ball over a couple of times and it was 28 to 7. Against Miami, they held them to 101 yards rushing which is very good. Miami came back and threw the ball well. Troy State will play the same type defense against us, putting eight people on the line of scrimmage.

"This is a team that will play four-wide. Their tailback, Demontray Carter, is a transfer from Auburn. He was a great player in high school. He has a lot of speed and he is bigger now. They have two good receivers and their quarterback, Brock Nutter, is very athletic. He moves around and does a very good job. Their offense is one where they play different formations but their number one formation is four-wides. Their offense is similar to the offense Dameyune Craig ran at Auburn.

"Their punting only averaged about 34 yards last week. One of the punts went 60 yards. They have had problems with their center and punter. As a matter of fact, their center and punter cost them two turnovers and fourteen points against Nebraska."

Practice this week: "We had a good practice (Monday). I expect we will have a good one (Tuesday). Normally on Tuesday we go 24 periods. Plus we have kicking. That will make it a good two hours and a half. We will scale back Wednesday, then scale back even more Thursday. That is our normal work-week."

Dicenzo's injury: "He is going to be sore. Anytime you aren't completely healthy and you play, you will be sore. It is going to be a matter of time before he is completely healthy. With him being a running back you will see him run with a flat tire. He just doesn't have the quick moves that he thinks that he has."

Playing younger players: "We haven't sat down and discussed how we are going to play them but we are going to play some younger players. I'm not talking about them playing the entire game but in spot play. We have a couple of guys, defensively, that we need to spot play. The offensive line is where we need to spot play so that we can give them some experience. The key is we have to make sure they execute. We can't play them if they are not going to execute."

Is it important to play well this game? "We need to execute. Sometimes you can play well but not execute. Playing well could mean that you played with intensity but did not execute. We need to execute. That means we need to make sure we don't have any pre-snap penalties. We need to catch the ball and throw catchable passes. We also need to make sure we make the right blocks upfront and also make sure we make the right cuts at the running back position. Defensively, we need to make sure we are at the right place at the right time."

What happened on the 50-yard touchdown run by Auburn? "On the 50-yarder, our secondary was on the line of scrimmage playing like linebackers. You don't have the ability to make that play when that happens. Our secondary was not in the correct position at that time."

Playing loose: "We need to get back to playing loose and aggressive. We need to just go out and play. You can't dwell on what happened yesterday. You can't go back and change what happened. What happened yesterday is gone. You learn from it and move on. We have a lot of games left. The key is to correct the things that need to be corrected and continue to improve."

John Michael Marlin's play: "Both of his kicks were good. He did a great job kicking off. We sky-kicked the ball. The first one was perfect. We didn't cover it as well as we should have. We should have been down there when the ball came down. We sky-kicked for a purpose and it worked out."

Ray Ray Bivines returning punts: "On the punt return when he really froze the player, if the gunner had done a better job staying with his man, then Ray Ray would have had a chance to return the punt all the way."

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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