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ballardWell, here we are, Wednesday of Game Week #2. I don't know about yall, but I'm itching to see the Dawgs in action this Saturday night. Itching to see the Bulldogs return to true form offensively, and show all of us that they can put up more than 246 total yards, 16 first downs, and more than 117yards rushing. Hopefully, surpassing those Auburn totals will result in a win at Death Valley. The more and more I think about the game, I really feel that we can put adequate pressure on Jefferson, and if that's the case, we'll see exactly what is so 'opportunistic' about Diaz's style of Defense. I can already sense a bunch of 3rd and 4, 3rd and 3's, for the Tigers, and MSU finding their way off the field, will be pivotal. I really think that in order to keep LSU's front 7 out of the offensive backfield, and away from our QBs, is to have the 'perfect' mix of play calling, that keeps the Tiger D off-balance. They'll stuff us a time or two, that's a given. But, keeping them guessing and in a 'reactive' state, is State's best bet. I've collected some quotes from MSU coaches, and LSU's Les Miles...

_______MSU Talk_______

Mullen & Koenning on the Running Game last week: (Koenning) "The tailbacks would have touched it a lot more on some of our option stuff but Auburn took it away and Relf ran the ball. It wasn’t a bad deal, it took away some carries but we don’t mind Relf carrying the ball!" (Mullen) There were not that many situations you’d say we should have given it to the tailback right there.”(Koenning) "I’m not so much worried about this guy, that guy; whatever I can do to put our team in the best position to win." (Mullen) "Those guys aren’t the wear-you-down backs that Anthony Dixon was. They all have a little different something to them, so that we’re in the same play but with Vick Ballard it looks different than with LaDarius Perkins."

Mullen on practice this week: "Yesterday (Monday) you could see our first real get-after-it practice after the game. There was a little bit disappointment still in them but today they were right back focused and back to work.” On the QBs: “I feel pretty good. The quarterbacks have been throwing the ball pretty well.”

Koenning on Death Valley's crowd noise: "Obviously crowd noise is the number one issue that will affect us and we have to make sure our kids are aware of it. We’ve already practiced this fall camp (in it).”

Diaz critiques his Defense: “One thing, we are not nearly creating enough negative plays. That is what we said we were going to be and we’re not holding up our end of the bargain. Now, we’ve had opportunities. I think we’ve had a lot of opportunities to make turnovers and tackle people behind the line of scrimmage, and we’re not producing both of those. That’s what wins, and that goes back to Thursday. If we make negative plays we’ll win the game. That’s what we’re predicated on, that’s how the whole thing has been built. We have not yet established that identity and I’m eager for that to occur.” On LSU: "I don't think they're super concerned with style points. They're trying to do what wins and that's what we're trying to do, too. That's why field position is critical. That's why getting negative plays and those type of things are of the utmost importance for us."

_______LSU Talk_______

Les Miles on the MSU match up:  "We play a much better football team in a Mississippi State team that is 1-1, and we understand that the challenge is much more significant. It is an SEC western division team and a home game. We recognize that they are going to do a number of things on offense, as they have any number of options. They play two quarterbacks and they have a nice receiving core. Chad Bumphis is a very talented receiver who is explosive and dangerous, and we have to be smart in how we handle him. We recognize that they are very talented on offense. Defensively, they give up about 12 points a game and are a team that is really sticky against the run and can bring it in the pass, and they gave fits to a very talented Auburn offense. They are averaging 12 points and 292 yards-per-game, and it is just a very good defense. Their middle linebacker, number 50 Chris White, is their leading tackler. He is a great college linebacker and I have enjoyed watching him play to this point. So, I am glad to be back in Tiger Stadium, looking forward to the start of the season at home, and looking forward to a very competitive Mississippi State team."

On his Offense:  "Good quarterback play and the ability to run the football, will add to a great offensive plan. Obviously if the running game is clicking, it takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback, and if the quarterback is playing well, then it gives us the opportunity to run the football more, so both things go hand in hand. We recognize that Mississippi State's defense was very sticky against the run a year ago."

On his QBs:  "We know he (Jefferson) can run the team. We know he has leadership ability. We just want to make him most productive. I just think we need to let him play. I think Jarrett Lee is really competing, and he has earned the right to play. It's always viewed as what is the best opportunity to win makes that call. He's competing. I have no problem putting him in the game, and I look forward to those opportunities."

Blog Question of the Day:What surprises you more, the fact that both MSU QBs have thrown for more than 200 yards this season, or that we don't even have a rusher with 100 yards on the season (Ballard 73 yds)?...I'm interested to know your thoughts...

_______SEC & NCAA News_______

UF's Chris Rainey is in some major TROUBLE. Pretty much texted his ex a 'death threat'! Don't forget your 'Scream' starter-kit Chris. Linkrainey

Reggie Bush forfeits his Heisman trophy? Vince Young said he would accept it, if Bush gave it up. Your thoughts? Link

Bar Brawl Vols get off the hook. No charges. Link

Mark Richt still on the hot seat, especially after USC loss. Come on Bulldog fans!!! 33-8 all-time on the road, ain't bad. Link

Texas Tech and Texas are ready to square off this weekend. Link 

So are Washington and Nebraska. Link

Don't forget to check out Saturday Night Slant's page this week. Hopefully we will both have something for you this weekend. Link