Kicking Rules the Day

With less than a week left prior to their Thursday night game with LSU, the State coaches went over one last aspect of their overall game prior to the beginning of regular game week preparations - the kicking game. "We had one offensive period and one defensive period but all the rest of the practice was devoted to kicking," said Coach Croom.

"And a lot of that was walking and talking and putting them in different positions on the field trying to put them in all the possible situations that could come up."

While the offensive kicking team was running various drills on one field, the defensive side of the kicking game was working on field goal blocking.

Running first team on the defensive side were Titus Brown and Avery Hannibal at the end positions and Cortez McCraney and Jessie Bowman at the tackle positions. Backing them up were Brandon Cooper and Jimmie Holmes at end and Kyle Love and Quinton Wesley at tackle. Backup defensive end Tim Bailey continues to wear a red cross jersey.

"While they didn't do any running around hitting anybody, I still thought it was a good workout," said Croom of the two-hour and fifteen-minute practice. "It was something that we didn't do last year and I really felt we needed to do it, so we devoted a day to make sure every possible situation with each kicking team, offensively and defensively, was covered."

Coach Croom was also pleased with what he's seen from the kickers, punter Blake McAdams and kicker Adam Carlson, as well. And he gives credit to a kicking camp they went to this summer as part of why they have done so well this pre-season camp.

"The reason I stuck with those two guys was because I knew they had the ability to do it, they just didn't have the confidence," noted Croom. "They went to a kicking camp this year on their own. And, more than anything else, I think it helped them with some technique and fundamental drills. When they came back, they were different. And they've been kicking the ball better ever since. Both of them are really hitting the ball well."

One member of the kicking game, snapper Aaron Feld, wasn't at practice due to an injury, but Coach Croom said, "we expect Aaron to be back, probably Saturday or Sunday."

With pre-season camp now over, the Bulldogs will start preparing for the LSU Tigers.

"Tomorrow will be like a Monday in our regular routine," said Croom. "We'll spend a lot of time in the film room and only spend about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes on the practice field."


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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