Saturday's Practice 180 Degrees Better

After having a practice that was so bad he chose not to talk to the media, MSU head coach Sylvester Croom was in a much better mood after Saturday's practice.

"It is a great day, it's a great day for Mississippi State football. We had a good day in practice and a good day at practice," said a smiling Coach Croom. "We are very excited about that."

He explained why he was so excited.

"I thought we were focused a lot better," he noted. "We didn't have missed assignments. We didn't have dumb penalties. We didn't put the ball on the ground as much. The contact was much better on the line. The focus was just a lot better."

He commented on several other positives that he saw throughout the practice.

"We caught the ball a lot better. Tony Burks had a very fine day today. (Ryan) Mason ran routes a lot better, but he still dropped some balls," said Croom. "I was really pleased with the guys who we expect to do some things. Lance Long is considerably better. Mike (Henig) is throwing better. The (offensive) line was better. Our work ethic was better. I think we only had two penalties today."

How would he compare Saturday's practice to the lackluster Fridays practice?

"It was 180 degrees. It was like the Arkansas game compared to the Ole Miss game," he said. "We had a heart to heart talk last night and we had another one this morning."

What did he say to the players during those two talks?

"We, basically, let the guys know what I expect and that that will not change," said Croom. "We are at a point now where I expected a move toward perfection. In the past, if the effort was there, that was great. That's not good enough now. I want perfection now. I want it exact now. If it's not right, I am going to call the guy out and tell him it's not right. It's not good enough. This is not horse shoes or hand grenades. Close is not good enough."

Injury Report:

Starting offensive tackle J.D. Hamilton went down with an ankle injury Thursday. Coach Croom talked about his status.

"It is an ankle injury. (The trainers) told me that it's not serious and he'll be back to practice next week. But I'm telling the trainers that I don't want him back out there until it's well. I don't want it to be a nagging injury all year long because he is too valuable to us. He's got to play both sides for us Otherwise, we are going to have to play a freshman as a backup tackle and I don't really want to do that."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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