October 15, 2007

Croom looking ahead

With their 24-hour window to dwell on what went wrong against No. 25 Tennesssee having come and gone, Mississippi State (4-3, 1-3 SEC) turned its collective attention to this weekend's battle with ninth-ranked West Virginia (5-1, 1-1 Big East).

"We played them last year and I think they're even better than they were last year," said Sylvester Croom on Monday morning. "They have great speed. We've known about what their offensive speed is, but I see more speed this year on defense. They have excellent athletes, they're well-coached and they're a very good football team with a lot of confidence at this point."

That defense has held opposing offenses to just 96.8 yards rushing per contest while the Mountaineers' offense has run - on average - for well over 300 (311.2) yards on the ground as the combination of quarterback Patrick White and running back Steve Slaton has continued to be one of the nation's most feared one-two punches.

As the Bulldogs begin their preparations for the trip to Morgantown, Croom said his defense, particularly his linebackers' ability to contain the Mountaineers' ball-carriers will be crucial to any hopes of an upset.

"If we can get them hemmed up, we can tackle them," said Croom. "The question is can we get them hemmed up."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!