Dan Werner -

After his showing against LSU, it appears senior QB Brent Schaeffer will have an opportunity to start against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl game Friday. Read Dan Werner's thoughts on that issue and the MSU defense inside.

Rebel Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner said all the coaches have ever asked of Brent Schaeffer is some semblence of consistency, on and off the field.

After a long haul of proving himself in both venues, Dan believes Brent has earned a shot to go out with a bang, but he's still looking for on-the-field consistency from the electrifying senior quarterback.

"The thing he did in the LSU game was make big things happen. When the defense is really tough and physical and you know it will be difficult hunkering down with them, a guy like Brent can come in with a new dimension and disrupt things, which he did," said Werner. "We just have to make sure he's consistent with it.

"If he will take care of the ball Friday against Mississippi State, I think he will be fine. We just have to make sure he doesn't follow a big play for us with a big play for them."

Schaeffer said that Saturday's game against LSU was the first time he had fun playing football in a while. Did Werner see that as well?

"I thought he was tight in the first half, but in the second half I thought he settled down and looked to be into it and enjoying it. He calmed down at halftime. He was having some difficulty with our play signals in the first half, but we got all that settled at the half. He was running around and being smart with the ball, most of the time," Dan continued. "That kind of success will lead to having fun.

"From the first time I saw him, I knew he was a great talent. He'd make some throws and runs that would take your breath away, but he was so inconsistent. I've seen great talents before that did not understand the importance of taking care of the ball. Brent is finally understanding you have to do it down after down. In the second half, I saw that. Mixed in with his talents, that's lethal."

It helped Schaeffer's cause that the plays being called were up his alley and fit his talents.

"We called a lot of things that were set up exclusively for him, especially in the run game. We did some of that with him last year, but he did not run it the way he did against LSU this year. He looked confident and comfortable running the ball against the Tigers," Werner explained. "MSU is also a very physical defense, like LSU. They are a good defense, but we think we can utilize Brent to counteract them some."

State's defense has been very good at times this year. What does Werner see in the Bulldog stoppers?

"They are physical and one of the better defenses we have seen on film. They are strong and fast and they show you a lot of different looks," Dan noted. "We will have to move people around and put pressure on them from different angles to be successful."

Werner was very pleased with the play of the offensive line against LSU and expects that to continue against the Bullies.

"LSU was by far the most physical DL we have faced and our guys were firing out on them real well. I was also very proud of the way they pass protected. They blocked well in the run game and protected," he said. "We went into the game thinking we were going to three-step drop, sprint out and naked - that was it. I was not even thinking dropping back. As the game progressed, we were handling them a little bit so I called more dropback passes.

"I would hope that will snowball into something really good this week."


OM Spirit Top Stories