"Last year, we weren't consistent. This year, we are a lot more consistent. It feels much better knowing the offense, now. The thing about last year was everybody was playing, but we didn't really know the offense that well."
What has been a major improvement in your individual game since last year?
"After all the work I did this spring and summer, I think I have learned the 3-step and 5-step game much better."
Two receivers, Tee Milons and Keon Humphries, both had a good game against Murray State. What are your expectations from them this year?
"Keon and Tee are going to make plays. I just have to get them the ball. I think Keon let everybody know the other night that he can go deep and catch the ball."
What are your thoughts about your offensive line this year?
"We have a lot of confidence in our offensive line. They all know what they are capable of doing. With veteran players like Chris (McNeil), Brian (Anderson) and Johnny (Wadley), the other guys are listening to them."
What's the attitude of the team going into Saturday's game against Auburn?
"Things have totally changed since last year. Last year, a lot of guys had their heads down when we played Auburn due to the team they had. This year, we are more positive."
You played them at home last year. This year, you have them on the road. What are your thoughts about playing them on the road?
"I think it is hard playing on the road. When you are at home, you hear your fans because they are supportive of you, but when you are on the road, you don't hear the opposing team's fans. Before the game, you can hear them, but once the game starts you can't hear anything but what is going on during the game. You turn it off like you turn off a radio, but it comes back after the game is over."
Coach Croom doesn't mince words when he talks about his team to the media. What are your thoughts about that?
"It motivates us. Everybody has been around him for a year now and knows the type coach he is. He's a straight-forward coach who will tell you when you are doing good or when you are doing bad. He's our coach and nobody has more confidence in us than our head coach. I think he is just trying to make us get better. He knows we have talent, he's just trying to get it out of us."
Last week, the team came out of the locker room walking in single file. Normally, you run through the helmet in the smoke. Which do you prefer?
"I like both. When you come out in single file, it shows a lot of unity. When we come out through the smoke, it's shows the passion of the game."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.