Justin Sutton from our sister site For Whom The Cowbell Tolls exchanged questions prior to tomorrows game between South Alabama and Mississippi State in Mobile, Alabama.
1. Obviously there is a lot of excitement around this game for Jaguar fans. How are Mississippi State fans viewing the game against South Alabama?
I think there are some fans that are completely overlooking South Alabama, but I think most realize the Jaguars should provide a solid test for Mississippi State.
I think quite a few are excited about a new location for a game against a program that has been on nothing but an upward trajectory.
2. The Bulldog defense gave up several big plays to UAB last Saturday. How much of a concern has that been over the course of the week?
It is a definite concerns because it just should not happen. These defensive backs did not suddenly get slower than they were last year, so was it a schematic problem, a took plays off problem, or what? If it happens a few times this week, and I'd think the Jaguars will test it, fans will be in edge about the defense.
3. Is there worry that the players may overlook the Jaguars for LSU and have another lackluster game or potentially be upset in what many think could be a trap game for the Bulldogs?
This game has pretty much all of the trap game criteria checked. Perhaps the biggest home game in the history of the opponent? Check. An opponent who move the ball on the ground and eat up time? Check. A team that slow down opponents on the ground? Check. A team that commits few turnovers? Check. Potential for weather factors? Check. A big game against an SEC foe next week? Check.
Most fans have not seemed too worries about that happening, but all of the ingredients are there for a tight one in the fourth quarter. Add that to concerns about some personnel rotations and a beyond shaky kicking game is enough to give Bulldog players and fans something to think about.
4. Over the last two years the Bulldogs have scheduled UAB, Troy and South Alabama along with their yearly date with Alabama and Auburn. Have Mississippi State fans enjoyed playing games against schools within driving distance of Starkville?
I think having games near home is a good thing. The majority of MSU fans live in Jackson, the Memphis-area, and other large areas outside of Starkville, so a 2-4 hour drive to go to a home game is common. Because of that, fans probably love road games that are close as well.
Fans in South Mississippi are beyond fired up for this one. They can watch the 11am kick at home if they want and hit Mobile in time for the game.
5. Mississippi State is considered a darkhorse team in the SEC West this season and their first conference game is just a week away. How dangerous is this game against South Alabama in their quest to compete and win the SEC West?
A loss would take all of the wind out of the sails of this season. I don't know how well this team, or any team, would bounce back.
As far as the SEC, the Bulldogs would still control all of their destiny, but would they bounce back? It's hard to say because hopes of a nine or ten win season would probably be dashed. A loss here could easily lead to a four game losing streak and a fight four bowl eligibility.
6. Beyond Dak Prescott, who else should Jaguar fans watch during the game on Saturday?
Josh Robinson has become the man in the running game. Blaine Clausell is a Mobile native on the offensive line.
At the receiver position, De'Runnya Wilson is an emerging threat, and Jameon Lewis is electric.
Defensively, Preston Smith has been a monster on the defensive line. He leads the conference in interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, and he has also blocked a kick. On that defensive line, sophomore Chris Jones is a must see player.
Benardrick McKinney is a linebacker to watch as well for the Bulldogs.
The Jaguars and Bulldogs get underway at 3pm CDT at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game can be seen on ESPNews.