Bulldogs get ready for Rebels


Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead talks with his team.

By: 
DANNY P. SMITH
Staff Writer

Saturday night was a time for the Mississippi State Bulldogs to enjoy a home Southeastern Conference victory with family and friends.

It was back to business on Sunday morning.

Why was it so important for the Bulldogs to get back to work so soon?

MSU must get ready for the Battle for the Golden Egg and the Ole Miss Rebels await in Oxford Thursday night.

"It's a quick turnaround on Thursday," State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald said. "(We've) got to work out, got to watch this film and got to get better."

With the game against the Rebels taking place on Thursday night, there are some days taken away from the Bulldogs in terms of preparation.

It's nothing that MSU head coach Joe Moorhead hasn't seen before in his previous stops at Akron and Connecticut.

Moorhead said there will be an adjustment to the schedule and one that the team has not had this season. His staff came in Sunday morning and watched the Arkansas film and "immediately" started putting together a game plan for Ole Miss.

"In terms of football days, we don't have a 'Football Sunday,'" Moorhead said. "(Today) will be a 'Tuesday.' Tuesday will be a 'Wednesday,' then Wednesday will be a combination of 'Thursday-Friday.' (The week) Definitely gets thrown in the microwave (with the short week)."

The Bulldogs improved their records to 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference with the 52-6 win over the Razorbacks. State moved up to No. 20 in the Amway Coaches poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll with the impressive result.

The Arkansas game was yet another where the MSU defense did not allow an opponent to score a touchdown.

In seven SEC games, the Bulldogs have only given up three touchdowns. Moorhead said all of the credit goes to defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and his staff.

"(They) do an excellent job putting a game plan in place," Moorhead said. "It allows our kids to play fast, play with confidence and play with physicality. (With) the way these kids practice, it is something to watch. You turn on film during the week and it looks like a game. They are going 100 percent (at) 100 percent of the time."

As far as going against the Rebels for the first time, it will take another strong effort from the defense and entire team.

MSU lost last year's meeting 31-28 in Starkville and the main focus for the Bulldogs this week will be getting the Golden Egg Trophy back in their possession.

"They came out and handled business last year," State safety Johnathan Abram said. "They got the Egg Bowl. We have to go up there and do what we have to do to get the trophy back."

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