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Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney
"We certainly didn't match up very
well in Starkville. We found a team that probably should be undefeated. They
lost to Oklahoma State and Auburn and I'm pretty sure that Auburn game, they
had a pretty good chance to win on the road. So they come in there not only
stinging a little bit from those losses, but also from us playing them as close
as we did and having a chance to beat them over here last year. I'm sure they
had plenty of motivation to prepare and they did. I think the biggest key was
the inability to slow [Dak] Prescott and their offense down.
"If you really watched closely,
you saw some really fine SEC linemen that could run as fast as some of our
backs. It was amazing to me, the personnel they had out there. Dan Mullen has
done a good job recruiting to that program and I'd say they are probably going
to win some more games. Credit where credit is due, we couldn't get the ball
from them and we didn't execute very well ourselves. Embarrassing loss,
yes, but it's not the worst I've been beaten. It's close and when I say ‘I' I
mean we, us, a team that we have coached. That doesn't change my mind about
these guys and what we need to.
"Certainly the best thing to do
right now is to win a game and that's not an easy task before us. You know
[Duke] scored 55 against Pitt and lost. I watched their defensive tape and I
don't see a team that should give up 58. They are well coached and David
Cutcliffe is a longtime friend. He has been a very positive football coach. He
certainly was a great offensive coordinator at Tennessee and [head coach] at
Ole Miss. We were in Birmingham at the same time growing up as head coaches in
high school. I know he will have his team ready for a home game and we will be
hard pressed to prepare well enough to execute our offense. On defense for us,
they are unique on offense, but everybody is doing the same thing. Lots of
cross motion, fake and read, quarterback read, power and zone. They have the
capability of moving the ball and scoring and we've got do the same thing to
have a chance to win.
On Troy's play on offense last week
"I've told you this before, the
ole quarterback, when he does good y'all hug and kiss and want to talk, but
when things don't go well for his football team then it's his fault. I stand by
Corey and I stand by Deon and their coaches. The biggest thing is protection.
There are probably a lot of other nuances that come into play. Right now, we're
struggling a bit on offense and he's got to live with being responsible. He's
made a couple of ill-fated throws that I wish for him he had back and he does
too. We're going to keep coaching him and seeing how he does. I predict he'll
come back and have a good game. He's had a bunch of good games for us over the
years. Again, more praise when you win and lot more criticism when you lose, no
matter how effective you were during the game.
On Mississippi State's size
"They are big on offense, really
big. On the other side of the ball, they were big and moving and we're not very
big. Basically it was 1-2-3 throw and get it out of your hands and sometimes
that caused a little bit of an errant throw when you have to get rid of it
quicker than you want to. Running the ball, we've made a few runs, but we've
got to get better. "
On playing young players on the offensive line
"We are trying to grow some guys
up quick, but we can protect these guys against Duke. They aren't quite as
massive as some of those guys we faced the other day. I watched them last week
with some of the graduate assistants when they were breaking down the tape and
you will never catch them out of position and they'll be playing hard and they
are smart. You can move the football, if you're expeditious and take advantage
of your opportunities."
On his outlook for the rest of the season
"There is a lot left, other than being undefeated, all our goals are still out there. Win the conference, go to a bowl, winning season, all those things are still out there. It won't be handed to us and it sure won't be handed to us this week.,"