Q&A with Eric Richards and Jamar Chaney

Q&A with Mississippi State redshirt freshman kicker Eric Richards and senior linebacker Jamar Chaney.

Redshirt Freshman Kickoff Specialist Eric Richards

This is your first game as a Bulldog. What are your thoughts about the game?
"I'm just excited. I haven't played in a game in awhile. I'm ready to get out there."

How have you been doing in practice?
"Better than I have ever done, really. I'm better than I was when I first got here and where I was at the end of last season."

You will be the starter on kickoffs, so we know you have a strong leg. How deep have you been keeping the ball in practice on kickoffs?
"I have been averaging about five (yards) deep (in the endzone). Occasionally I will kick one eight deep, but I think I average about four to five deep."

Have you pretty much kicked all of them into the endzone or have you come up short on a few?
"I've kicked a few short, but I kicked them to the two or the goal line. It just depends on the wind."

Senior Linebacker Jamar Chaney

What are the feelings among the players going into the opening game?
"We have been going through some really tough practices. Coach Croom and the coaching staff have put us through a lot because they didn't want us to get the big head due to last season. And we are also excited to finally be able to hit somebody other than ourselves. But we are also trying to hold in the excitement for Saturday."

One of the trainers, the one nicknamed Stick, really gets each practice started with his antics. How does that affect the team during the practices?
"He started doing that during training camp. He gets us fired up before practice. He goes running around and gets excited about practice. Sometimes you might not want to be out there, but then you see him jumping around, getting excited and that gets us excited. They might want him to do it before the game when we are getting ready (laugh)."

What do you know about Louisiana Tech?
"I've watched them a lot because I don't overlook any of their opponents.

"They are a pretty good offensive team. They have the quarterback (Taylor Bennett) who transferred from Georgia Tech, so he has played against ACC caliber defenses. And we know they will have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. And they are going to come out trying to prove something against us, and they should try to do that. But as long as we handle our business and do what we have to do, we will be alright."

What are your thoughts about starting out with a road game?
"It doesn't bother me because everybody on this team is just ready to play. It doesn't matter where it is at. We are just just ready to go out there and play against another team."

What kind of MSU team do you expect fans to see this weekend?
"A team that has a lot to prove. Everybody is talking about how our season last year was a fluke. And they still have us rated at the bottom of the SEC. We have a lot to prove and we are going to make sure we prove it. We have a lot of high goals set that we really think we can achieve. We don't want to just say we can achieve them, but we want to go out there and achive them."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the 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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