Memphis Football Game Press Conference

[Premium Article] Mississippi State players talk about the upcoming Memphis game.

K Brent Smith

How important was last week's win?
"It was big for us mentally. Each week we are telling ourselves that we are as good as these other teams and that we have the talent and the gameplan. And we come up on the short end. Most of the losses have really hurt because we went back and looked at them and saw that we weren't that far from winning."

Are you still having back spasms?
"They are just about gone. They are very mild. I have been getting treatment in the morning and going to treatment in the afternoon."

Have you ever have them before?
"Back when I played soccer, that was just about it. It is kind of unique because it is just on the left side. It is not my entire back but my lower left."

Did the back spasms have anything to do with you missing the long field goal attempt?
"No, there was a little confusion on the long one. My back had nothing to do with that kick. It did kind of bother me on a couple of kickoffs early. I wasn't real loose. But after I worked with Dr. Allen on the sideline with some heat, that loosen me up and it wasn't a factor anymore."

Does the weather effect your kicking?
"The weather doesn't but the footing is effected. We really haven't seen bad footing. LSU was probably the worse that we have seen, footing-wise. But if you pay attention to it, you are going to overstep and cause yourself to fall."

Do you know any of the Memphis players?
"I know a couple. Wimprine was my host on my visit. I got to be around him a little bit. He is a great guy; the ultimate competitor. I got to see him in the weightroom."

So, you were recruited by Memphis?
"Yeah, I was offered by Memphis."

What other schools offered you a scholarship?
"North Carolina, Northwestern and West Virginia."

Why did you decide to walk on at MSU?
"I wanted to stay in this area of the country and stay close to home so that my family could watch me play. The one school that I was most interested in was North Carolina. But they pulled their offer about two days before my official visit because another kid had signed. I was close to Memphis. They have a good coaching staff and exciting program. They had a good sales pitch but I wanted the college atmosphere that State could offer. And Memphis just can't offer that right now."

How important is this game?
"I think three wins going into the off-week would be tremendous for us. I think we could really turn it around with that. We are just taking it a game at a time now. We are not done."

What is your longest field goal in a game and in practice?
"In a game would be the 52-yard field goal that I kicked this season. In practice we have kicked some at 60 in warmups this year. Coach Sherrill likes to know how far we can kick. Outside of 60, I don't really know. We get out there and mess around sometime."

OT Richard Burch

Talk about the Memphis defensive ends.
"We just have to be quicker than them. They aren't the biggest ends that we have seen but they are certainly among the fastest. We just have to stop them from getting that outside end."

Will you have to do something differently than you have done with other teams?
"No, we have been doing the same things that we have done against previous teams."

Who will you go against in practice to get you used to that speed?
"They have been bringing some of the scout team speed guys over. Yesterday, after practice, they had some of the speed guys come out and run off the ends to give us an idea how fast they will be coming."

How did you feel you did last week? I know you did really well the week before.
"I did alright except for a couple of plays. A guy got past me one time because I didn't notice where the quarterback was. He slipped off my outside and got back there."

How does a lineman always know where the quarterback is?
"Wherever they are in practice is where they are going to be in the game. You just have to remember if it is a deep set or a quick drop. If the quarterback has to scramble you can sometimes tell by where the defender is running. If they are running way out, then you know there is a problem behind you. Then, sometimes you just don't know."

What was the difference between your first start and your second start?
"There really wasn't that much of a difference except one was an SEC team and one wasn't. But Troy State got after us pretty good. They probably have some of the best ends that I have gone against."

What do you think about the offensive line as a whole?
"I think we have great potential. We are kind of young, but I think we will be pretty good. We are starting to communicate better with each other. We are better understanding what each other is thinking in different situations."

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

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