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Soccer Media Day

STARKVILLE, Miss. – With their season set to begin on Thursday, the Mississippi State soccer team held its annual preseason media day in the Babe McCarthy Media Room at Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday.
 
Second-year head coach Tom Anagnost was joined by senior Courtney Robicheaux and Carly Mauldin along with junior MaKayla Waldner.
 
The Bulldogs welcome the most freshmen of any SEC squad this season, but return their top three goal scorers and top two in points. Waldner led the team with nine goals on the way to an MSU single-season-record five game-winners.
 
When State hosts Southern Miss at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday, Anagnost will be looking to be the fastest coach in school history to win 10 games. He will be coaching his 19th contest, while the current record stands at 20 games set by the first coach in program history, William B. Findley II.
 
For more information on the Bulldog soccer program, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateSOC." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."
 
Tom Anagnost Quotes
Opening statement…
"We're inching closer to the first game of the season on Thursday, and we're all anxiously awaiting that moment."
 
On the difference he saw in the two exhibition games…
"It was almost drastic. (Makayla) Waldner hit it on the head. We didn't have an identity the first game, and there were technical things in both. We were just better, in all phases, in the second game. Between the matches, we focused on a few areas. We said we'd do better at things, and they did. It was clearly a better match for most of the individuals on the team, and I would say collectively. I was pleased. We need to build on that."
 
On leadership…
"The biggest thing will be the leadership piece. They all have an extensive amount of experience on the team and at the high level. That the biggest piece is connecting with all the players on the team. To me, the definition of a leader is to be an extension of the coaches. On and off the field, you're communicating both ways. We will create a high standard and enforce it. If they do those things, we have a chance of being good."
 
On Southern Miss…
"We played them our first spring, and we didn't generate very many chances. They had the better share of the game for 75 minutes. They're tactically very good from what I remember. They defend together, and they have some players that can score. They present a different type of challenge that we will need to overcome from a tactical and technical standpoint. It's going to be a tough game."
 
Carly Mauldin Quotes
On having interactions with players on Southern Miss's team since she's from the area…
"There are a few players on their team from my old club team that I use to play with. I am really excited to play them and show them how good we are."
 
On what she thinks MaKayla Waldner is going to bring to the team…
"You could say (Courtney) Robicheaux is the fastest in the backline, and I would say MaKayla is the fastest we have up top. She's going to work hard, she's going to give it her all every chance. She's going to score goals for us this season. I expect nothing less, and I think she's up for it. MaKayla is a hard worker."
 
Courtney Robicheaux Quotes
On what she thinks Carly Mauldin is going to bring to the team…
"We have played together since we were freshmen, and we have started since we were freshmen. I have 100 percent faith in her, and I trust her 100 percent on the field. I trust her as a leader, and also as the calming voice we need to hear when things get tough or when things are getting to frantic. Carly is always there to calm everything down. I don't think Carly has ever had a bad game, so I just know that every single game she's going to go out there and give her 100 percent effort. I believe in her every time we step on the field."
 
Makayla Waldner Quotes
On the difference in the team's mentality between their first and second exhibition matches…
"I think you could say the Wisconsin game was out of character for us. We just did not come out and play our game. It was really different. We could not find our flow or rhythm or anything like that. Whenever the Marquette game came, Tom (Anagnost) was like, I want you guys to go out there and show them that we are the tougher team. I think we did just that. In the first two minutes we already established that if we fall down, we are the first to get up or that we are going to win the ball from you."
 
On how much the team will rely on toughness with a young team…
"Any SEC school is real tough and gritty. I think we take pride in being the toughest one in our conference, and every team knows that. I think that just goes to show how hard we are going to work, and no matter how young we are, we are going to be able to pick up the slack in other areas. We are going to go out there and battle it out and try to be the tougher opponent every time."
 
On what she thinks Courtney Robicheaux is going to bring to the team…
"One thing about Courtney is that no matter – well we call her Robi – one thing about Robi is that no matter how our preparation goes, she is always going to go out there and give us her all. That is how she has always been, and I expect nothing less from her. She's the fastest one in our backline, and no one is going to get past Robi. I have 100 percent faith in her."

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Volleyball

STARKVILLE, Miss. –With only 10 days away from hosting its season opener, the Mississippi State volleyball team held its annual media day in the Babe McCarthy Media Room at Humphrey Coliseum on Tuesday.
 
First year coach Julie Darty and players Paige Shaw, Alleah Stamatis and Gabby Zgunda were in attendance. 
 
Mississippi State is set to start its 43rdseason. There are seven returners and 11 new faces on the team. Of the 11 new faces, four are transfers while the remaining seven are freshmen.
 
The team is set to debut Volleyball 101 on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 5-7 p.m. in Newell-Grissom. The event, which is free to the public, will educate fans on the game of volleyball. On Sunday, Aug. 19, the annual Maroon and White scrimmage will take place. First serve is set for 4 p.m. in The Griss, and it is open to the public.
 
For more information on Mississippi State volleyball, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateVB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."
 
Julie Darty Quotes
Opening Statement …
"We are super excited to be in the middle of preseason right now. Things are going really well and there are a lot of unknowns because we haven't had that first competition yet. We have a lot of fresh faces, and we're excited about this first year."
 
On preseason mentality …
"There's been big strides. In my mind, the first practice after a day off is terrible. We had our first day off a few days ago, and that next practice was through the roof. The energy is something they've brought every time. I don't have to be excited for every play because they're excited for each other. We just get to coach now. The standard is pretty high, and we came in and set the standard high. We made sure they understood what the standards were. They're policing each other and holding each other to those standards. We're at the halfway point of preseason. We are at practice 10, and we only have 20 practices before the first match. They're doing their part, pulling their weight and we're not having to do everything for them, which is making our jobs a lot easier."
 
Alleah Stamatis Quotes
On what it has been like under Coach Darty's system …
"I think we are all really excited to be here, ready to go, and take a huge step forward for the program. We are all on one page, and ready to take giant leaps both individually and as a team. We are ready to get better every day.
 
On getting past the "young team" mentality …
 "I don't think that excuses are a part of our standard. We don't want to be like, 'oh it's a first-year coach or that they are young.' That does not matter. We are here to win games, and that's what we plan to do."
 
Gabby Zgunda Quotes
On what it has been like under Coach Darty's system …
"I think its trusting the process for sure. Already we have a thing called 'sideline' and it sets the standard in our gym for if we make a mistake. [It says] that's not our standard. [When] we think that's below our standard, we will call a sideline. At any point, anyone in the gym can call a sideline, we run the sideline, then get back into the drill again. It's so we can push our standard more and get better."
 
On getting past the "young team" mentality …
"Ithink trust is a big thing and consistency. I do not think youth has anything to do with it. I think if we together work as a team, we are consistent, and we trust each other, that's what we are working toward."
 
Paige Shaw Quotes
On what it has been like under Coach Darty's system …
"I think we do a good job at holding ourselves at a higher standard. We are all on the same page, and I think that is going to work very well for us."
 
On getting past the "young team" mentality …
 "We are all on the same page, and we know that we are capable of getting the job done. We are very confident in what we can do, and we trust each other."

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Marco Arop NCAA Champs

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Current and former Mississippi State track and field athletes won four medals at the NACAC Games in Toronto, Ont., over the weekend.

Curtis Thompson (United States) and Anderson Peters (Grenada) threw the javelin while Marco Arop joined fellow Canadian and former Bulldog Brandon McBride in the men's 800m finals.

"We are extremely proud of what these athletes accomplished this week," head coach Steve Dudley said. "They performed well on a big stage and showed what our program is capable of. I think it was extremely special for Brandon and Marco to be running in Canada and finish they way they did."

McBride and Arop trailed Puerto Rican Wesley Vazquez entering the final turn, but McBride made his move coming onto the straightaway to take the lead. Arop would also run Vazquez down in the final 100m to take second place.

"Marco had a crazy good kick down the stretch – he was even closing on Brandon," Dudley said. "When they came out of that turn in second and third, the fans were going crazy, and I think that really helped push him to the line."

In the javelin, Peters led from his very first throw with a mark of 78.67m (258-1). That alone would have been enough to win, but on his third attempt he improved to 79.65m (261-4). Thompson was quickly into second place after the first round, but faltered in the second. On his third throw, the senior launched the implement 76.02m (249-5) to claim the silver medal.

"I'm extremely proud of those two," throws coach April Thomas said. "That's a season-best for Curtis after redshirting the NCAA season, and Anderson had some throws that were pushing 85 or 86m in warmups."

Two more Bulldogs were in action at the European Championships in Berlin, Germany, over the week. Nicolas Quijera competed in the javelin, but did not advance to the finals. Former MSU athlete and NCAA 1500m Champion Marta Pen Freitas placed sixth in that event with a time of 4:06.54.

For more information on the MSU track and field team, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching @HailStateTF. You can also find all access coverage on SnapChat by searching 'HailStateSnap'.

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WBK - MSU-TK Hannover

FLORENCE, Italy – Teaira McCowan put together another dominant performance in the post, tallying 23 points and 15 rebounds as Mississippi State defeated German professional team TK Hannover 72-49 Monday afternoon outside Florence, Italy.
 
McCowan actually posted her second-straight double-double of the tour in the first half, as she collected 19 points and all 15 rebounds before seeing limited action in the second half.
 
The All-American from Brenham, Texas, made 50 percent (8-of-16) from the field and converted on 7 of her 9 free-throw attempts.
 
Sophomore Chloe Bibby also turned in another double-digit scoring performance, notching 13 points on the night, 11 in the first half. The Warracknabeal, Australia, native was 6-of-10 from the floor.
 
"I thought we played really well," MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. "It was a very physical game, and the more physical for Teaira the better. Some of us were up to the challenge with how physical it was, but we have to go a long way with our young depth. They have a lot to learn, which is why this trip is so important for them. 
 
"Our veterans continue to play like veterans. Chloe continues to shoot it well, and she along with Teaira, Jazz (Holmes) and Jo (Danberry) are doing a heck of a job from a veteran standpoint. It was a good win today against a really good team."
 
McCowan, the Bulldogs' All-American senior center, scored nine points in the first quarter, including five of MSU's final 10 of the frame, to help put State out to an early 20-13 edge.
 
As it did in the tour opener in Rome, Mississippi State turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter, out-scoring TK Hannover 23-14 to take a 43-27 lead to the break. 
 
Bibby ignited the second-quarter offense with nine-straight points, and McCowan followed by pouring in the final 10 points of the period.
 
Freshmen Daphane White and Xaria Wiggins each added five points, and Anriel Howard, Iggy Allen and Zion Campbell contributed four points apiece.
 
Prior to Monday's game, the Bulldogs had the opportunity to tour the historic city of Florence and visit the Accademia Gallery, home of Michelangelo's famous sculpture "The David."
 
State loads the bus on Tuesday and heads to Venice, where it will have the opportunity to ride in the famous gondolas and also see sites such as St. Marc's Square, Procuratie Vecchi and the Bridge of Sighs.
 
The Bulldogs tour Trieste on Wednesday before trekking to Como on Thursday for its final game of the tour against International Select.

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Sweat - Hendricks Award Watch List

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior Montez Sweat earned another preseason honor on Monday morning as the Mississippi State defensive end was selected to the Ted Hendricks Award Watch List.
 
This selection marks the third watch list over the preseason to feature Sweat's name as he was also selected to the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch Lists. The Ted Hendricks Award will announce its final watch list prior to its first ballot in November. The award winner will be announced on Dec. 12.  
 
Sweat collected a league-best 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his debut season en route to a first-team All-SEC selection. The 10.5 sacks ranked seventh in MSU single-season annals as he became the first Bulldog to lead the league in sacks since Willie Evans in 2005. That total also tied for eighth nationally last season. His tackle for loss total tied for fifth in Bulldog single-season history.
 
A three-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week recipient in 2017, Sweat recorded at least one tackle for loss in 10 of MSU's 13 games. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native ranked sixth overall on the squad in tackles with 46 in 2017. 
 
The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football's first three-time first-team All- American. On-field performance, exceptional winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness are some of the criteria used to determine the award's recipient each year. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included on the award's selection committee. Candidates may represent any class as well as any four-year NCAA-accredited school. The candidate's primary position must be defensive end.

2018 Mississippi State Preseason Honors
 
Jace Christmann, So., K
Lou Groza Award Watch List
 
Nick Fitzgerald, Sr., QB
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)
Maxwell Award Watch List
Davey O'Brien Award Watch List
 
Gerri Green, Sr., DE
Wuerffel Trophy Watch List
 
Elgton Jenkins, Sr., OL
Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List
 
Mark McLaurin, Sr., S
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)
 
Jeffery Simmons, Jr., DT
First-Team All-SEC (Media, Phil Steele)
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Second Team)
Bednarik Award Watch List
Outland Trophy Watch List
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
 
Montez Sweat, Sr., DE
First-Team All-SEC (Media, Phil Steele)
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Third Team)
Bednarik Award Watch List
Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
Ted Hendricks Award Watch List
 
Deddrick Thomas, Jr., WR
Paul Hornung Award Watch List
 
Aeris Williams, Sr., RB
Third-Team All-SEC (Media)
Doak Walker Award Watch List
 

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Gabriella Coleman-Florida exhibition

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – After a scoreless first half, Mississippi State soccer took control in the final 45 minutes to claim a 1-0 victory at Marquette in its final exhibition match.
 
Sophomore Gabriella Coleman found the back of the net from 15 yards out in the 68th minute to give MSU the win. Junior MaKayla Waldner chipped the ball over the Golden Eagles' back line that settled at Coleman's feet. She dribbled in and deposited the ball in the back corner of the net.
 
"I thought we clearly improved in the areas we addressed from yesterday, which I'm very happy about," head coach Tom Anagnost said. "I'm also very pleased with the strong mentality displayed by this team after playing a match yesterday. We competed well and earned the result against a very good and well-coached Marquette team."
 
State put six shots on goal while redshirt senior Rhylee DeCrane turned in a clean sheet, making two saves.
 
MSU's attack started early, with the Bulldogs earning two corners in the first 10 minutes but missing their first shot attempt. In the 24th minute freshman Miranda Carrasco lobbed a dangerous cross into the box that was punched away by the keeper.
 
Minutes later, DeCrane made the first of her two saves on the night, stopping a header that came in off a Marquette corner kick.
 
Waldner had a chance to extend the Bulldog lead in the 75th minute with a shot from the right side of the box, but Marquette's Maddy Henry made her fourth save of the night. She would finish with five saves as MSU outshot its opponent, 14-6.
 
Nineteen total players saw the field for significant minutes, including eight freshmen.
 
The Bulldogs open the season on Aug. 16 at home against Southern Miss. Admission is free and the game will be broadcast live on SEC Network beginning at 7 p.m.
 
For more information on the Bulldog soccer program, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateSOC." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."

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Sweat Hoyett Media Day

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State coaches and players went through their annual media day, prior to their first scrimmage of preseason camp on Saturday evening at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex.

The Bulldogs began the day with their official team photo in Davis Wade Stadium. Head coach Joe Moorhead, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Luke Getsy, defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop and special teams coordinator Joey Jones each took the podium.

Below are quotes from media day.

Joe Moorhead – Media Day
August 11, 2018
 
Opening Statement…
 
"I hope you all are doing well, and I appreciate you all coming out, and for the coverage you provide for our team. Today marks day No. 10 of preseason camp if you count the report date. It will be practice No. 8, which will be our first scrimmage. I'm certainly excited to perform in a game-like situation with no coaches on the field, referees and game clock. All of those things will be a great opportunity for the guys to really compete for the first time in that kind of situation, so we are excited there. Through seven practices, I think we've seen steady strides in our understanding and execution of our scheme in all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. I've been very proud of our coaching staff and their ability to provide the information to our players in position meetings in a very clear and concise manner. I'm certainly proud of our players to take the information and apply it on the field with consistent effort and an improved precision on a daily basis. If you talk about our camp goals, I think we have had great competition, certainly competition individually to make ourselves better and compete for a job as a group to make the positions better, as a unit to make our side of the ball better and ultimately, and lastly, as a team to make us better. There has been a great back-and-forth every single day through seven practices. Either by period or by day, it's been a great give-and-take offensively and defensively. Historically, that's generally a sign of a pretty good football team leading up to the fall. If you see one side of the ball getting after the other side on a consistent basis, that's usually not a good sign of balance. So, we've had a really good spirited back-and-forth there. Another one of our camp goals is to work on situation football so every single day we track the number of explosive plays offensively, and explosive plays allowed defensively, and the same thing for turnover margin so, once again, it's been a good balance there of us meeting our goals. You know, offensively we want to have one turnover or less per practice with defense being three or more. From an explosive play perspective, we go by percentage of plays. We define an explosive run as a run of 12 [yards] or more, and a pass of 15 or more. The defense wants to limit it to 10 percent or less than the total number of plays in practice, and the offense wants to get 16 percent or more. So, we've done a real good job there certainly working it into all of their situations. We've got the third down, got the red zone, get a little bit of two-minute work and we will continue to do that, and the situations covered in our scrimmage today. Another one of our goals, which was new from the spring and we emphasized with the team, is our ability to handle adversity and handle prosperity and to show our emotions without being emotional. I think that's one of the great things about our team is that the guys love to compete. They wear their emotions on their sleeves, but at times I believe it can be counterproductive. As it gets to that point in camp, there are a few dust-ups and a few altercations, but we always talk about our practice habits being gameday realities. If you're not going to fight on the field during a game, then that's going to get you sitting down and you're certainly not going to do it in practice. But I think we've definitely improved in our ability to do that. Starting with our strength and conditioning program, I think the guys came into camp bigger, stronger and faster, more explosive and in great shape. Coach (Anthony) Piroli did a great job changing guys' body compositions. Coach Piroli and his staff and Kelly White, our sports nutritionist, are addressing the needs of those guys to get them at their optimal playing weight, and certainly it's not because he's a fellow yinzer, or because I hired him, but I truly believe  that Anthony Piroli is the best strength and conditioning coach in the country. So, we're certainly very excited to have him. There are 21 days left of camp until our first game. We need to take advantage of every opportunity mentally and physically, one rep at a time, at a championship standard. We talk to our guys on a daily basis that we can't waste a rep, a drill, a play, a period, a meeting, a practice or a day and to continue to make the investment and earn the right and have our actions reflect our goals and we are certainly very excited for the upcoming season. It's been a very good and productive camp so far. The kids are doing a great job, the coaching staff is aligned, everyone is pulling the rope in the same direction and it's a good reason for optimism."
 
On how he arrives at a certain percentage of run/pass plays per game…
 
"Actually, we arrived at it at Penn State last year. There had just been a number, and it wasn't relative to the total number of plays that we would run in a game. So sometimes it would get skewed a little bit. Actually, Michael Day, who works at Penn State, did a bunch of research with Pro Football Focus, and College Football Focus to come to a percentage of the number. I really liked how we did that at Penn State last year."
 
On separating the tight ends to know who will play on gamedays…
 
"I think because the tight end position is such a pivotal cog in our offensive system, they need to block like a lineman in the run game and execute like a receiver in the pass game. When you look at the guys that we recruit and their body types, ideally, you'd like a big high school X-receiver and a guy who can be aligned and attached to the formation and do all the things that are necessary from that perspective but a guy who you can also split out to get matched up on a linebacker or a safety. I think what we are looking for is production in both the run game and the pass game and the ability to create explosive plays down the field."
 
On Nick Fitzgerald and the quarterbacks meeting his expectations in the new offensive system…
 
"Like any positional unit on the team through the course of camp there are up days and there are down days, but there have certainly been more ups than downs. I think we are seeing a steady progress of not just how we were in spring ball, not just what we're doing, but why and how. I think that is critically important at that position where the level of precision is of the upmost importance. Nick's growth as a drop-back passer is something we've been working to develop, and also his ability to be involved in team reps now, which he didn't have in spring ball with the run games, the RPOs and changing the protections. Not just with Nick, but with all the other guys I think we are seeing great growth from them. Coach Breiner is doing a good job coaching them."
 
On Aeris Williams as a leader…

"He is a guy who has a good body of work. I believe he was close to 1,000 yards rushing last year. Aeris is a guy who leads more by example than he does vocally. I think that's just his nature. He comes in every day, punches the clock and lets his performance speak for itself. He's a guy who has played a lot of football here and has earned the right to be a leader. I think he is more comfortable in the lead-by-example phase than the vocal part of it. That is something we have talked with the team about, the guys who are captains and the guys that are leaders. There's not one blanket way to be a leader. You've got to find the things that motivate people. With some people you can correct them in a public setting and they respond to that. Some people don't. There may be a guy you have to go over and put your arm around and talk to him privately. I think his best way of helping us lead is through doing what he does."
 
On which running backs he would like to see involved in the passing game…

"Certainly the role of running back in our offense as a pass catcher has been pretty well documented and demonstrated last year. I think Saquon Barkley was close to 50 catches and a bunch of yards. Chase Evans who will make his debut for the Cardinals tonight was around 40. He was a guy who was around the 30 to 40 catch range. We talk about one of the tenants of this offense being the ability to get your speed and space and starting with our running back position and guys we've had over the years in this offense and that's not just about gain between the tackles. It's what can we do to get them on the edge and what can we do to get favorable matchups in the pass game.
 
On how he feels about the offensive linemen…

"I feel very good about the depth. Once again, I keep going back to the job that our assistant coaches are doing. Marcus Johnson is a guy who did it at the highest level, both professionally and collegiately, and can fall back to those experiences as a player and a coach. But when you look from tackle to tackle, you see guys with size and with speed, athleticism, you know, the physicality. I think one of the best things Coach Johnson is doing now is playing through the demeanor and playing though the echo of the whistle and that has caused some of the spats between the offensive line and the defensive line when you're going against a defensive line of that caliber every day. It's great to watch those guys battle against each other. Then you look at the guys behind them, and I think the only luxuries we have with that position is some of the twos are pressing the ones for playing time. You can't have a bad day or a bad practice because we're having guys that are just doing well it gives us an opportunity competition.
 
On How Coach Marcus Johnson has utilized Duke head coach David Cutcliffe's way…

"I think a lot of that is just reflective of Coach Johnson's demeanor. That's not just with him, but with the rest of our coaches. We want them to be teachers, we want them to be educators, and they're doing a great job at communicating with our kids. Figuring out what motivates them is the best way to get them to perform. I think Coach Cutcliffe has had a remarkable career as a head coach and a coordinator. Any time he can fall back on that experience that benefits everybody. Marcus is doing a fantastic job.
 
On the new redshirt rule and the effort by the true freshmen…

"They're giving effort. I wouldn't necessarily say it's changed. I'd say they have an even more heightened awareness with the rule now that there an opportunity for them to play in four contests without utilizing a year of eligibility. I think it goes more along the lines of our plan for them moving forward. Whether they're going to be a definite redshirt, or a guy we're going to play four games, or a guy we are going to utilize in a full-time capacity to use a year of eligibility. Those things are yet to be determined until we get to game one of prep. Right now, I don't think they are necessarily worried about playing times as much as they are absorbing the information, figuring out where to go on the field, and what to do when they get the repetitions. I certainly like the talent in our class."
 
On the older defensive players and their progression to adapting to changes at the defensive coordinator position…
 
"That's borderline hyperbole, it's almost accurate. I think we have a very senior-laden, experienced group. I believe, as you mentioned, this is their whatever-number coordinator in the same amount of years, but ultimately, at the end of the day, if you're going to set the three-technique to the tight end, you're setting the three-technique to the tight end. Then there are a bunch of different ways to call it. I'd say it's more of the ability to adapt to the language maybe than necessarily the scheme. Now, certainly, I think that Coach Shoop will be a little different than Coach Grantham and the other guys looking back down the line. I'd say it's a combination of understanding the language and the verbiage and certainly grasping onto the concepts. From going from three-down to four-down, with the different things we are doing on the back end. The flexibility and the ability to adapt year after year after year has boded well for them."
 
On how he plans to manage the new redshirt rule …
 
"We definitely have a plan. I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is we are not going to play them if they have not earned the right to play. You earmark a certain number of players that will be activated and be on the travel roster and have a chance to go into the game. We're not just going to put them in if they are not better than the two or the three in that position. So, the first thing is they have to earn the right to step on the field with their performance because it is not just something we are going to hand to them. We're going to say you're not going to play if you do not get better. I don't think that is something that benefits team morale if you are just throwing a freshman in there when you have guys that are older and better than them. We have looked at a model for if they have earned the right to play then we are going to get them in the game. Two of the first four, one of the last eight and then certainly down the line hopefully there are multiple post-season games that we have the opportunity to play in those games. That's our initial thought process, but certainly be an ongoing discussion as injuries occur and guys show that they deserve to be on the field."
 
On how he utilizes Joey Jones' abilities …
 
"We've asked Coach Jones on non-special teams drills to walk around, make notes and observations with things that are happening in the offensive and defensive phases. I think that is the benefit of having four ex-head coaches on staff. Whether it's Coach (Andrew) Breiner, Coach (Bob) Shoop, Coach (Joey) Jones or Coach (Mark) Hudspeth, like anything you go through everything. When you can fall back on the experience from those guys, it benefits everybody."
 
On the punters battling through camp …
 
"We are getting through a few days of installation of punting. We're seeing a good operation. The guys are getting it off in good time. I feel good about the protection. For both of them it's going to be a matter of consistency. They both have moments. They both have flashes. They can both strike the ball really well. It will all come down to consistency and the details."
 
On the pre-season ranking affecting the team …
 
"Hype and confidence are two things that I don't worry about with the team. We are a very confident group, and I think we have a good reason. We have earned a right to be confident. In our initial team meeting, way back about 10 days ago, we addressed the preseason ranking and what it means. We set up the floor for keeping score. We want to be first. Obviously, the ranking at the end of the season matters more than the ranking at the first. The biggest thing is that we are not competing against an opponent. We're competing against a standard. If our level of preparation, effort and execution has changed weekly basis based on who we are playing, then we are going to be in trouble. If we compete against the standard in everything that we do, then I think on a weekly basis, you're going to see more of a consistent football team. I'm happy that we are 18; I wish we were first. But, certainly, that ranking does mean anything when we tee off on [September 1]."
 
On Marcus Murphy experimenting with different positions …
 
"No offensive spots just yet. Marcus' track record as a playmaker on that side of the ball is very well-documented, and for good reason. Right now, him being a mid-year guy he got a little bit of a head start. We're working with him at the nickel position, a little bit of safety, and he's going to be a factor in the return game as well. As he continues to progress with his understanding, and his level of execution increases in those positions and certainly down the road, him playing in some offensive snaps is not out of the realm of possibility. We would like to do it, but what I don't want to do is inhibit or stunt his growth as a defensive player and special teams guy when he's got too much on his plate so he's not excelling at anything. So, we want to give him the best opportunity to be successful."

Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy
 
Opening Statement…

"Quickly, to just give you all a good rundown of what is going on with us, we're right in the thick of the installation period. We've gotten a bunch of them in, so I'd say a good chunk of the offense is in and guys have done a really nice job. Where we are now compared to how we finished the spring, there's been a tremendous growth. The guys, this summer, did a great job of getting their bodies and minds ready. When they came to camp, offensively, these guys were ready to rock and roll. Up front, (the offensive linemen) are a physical bunch. They've done a good job of establishing our identity through camp. As you go through the back end and to the perimeter, everyone's done a really nice job of progressing in the fashion that we're really excited about. We think we're in a really good place. The scrimmage later on today will be a good test to see guys competing. I think we're on a good path to getting off to a really fast start."
 
On his expectations of the newcomers…

"Starting at quarterback, Jalen [Mayden] has done a really nice job of grasping the offense for a young quarterback. We're excited about where his future is headed. He's off to a really good start. At the tight end position, [Geor'quarius] Spivey and Brad [Cumbest] are really big guys that, when they walk in the room, they just fit in with SEC football right away. That part of it is really exciting. Coach Hudspeth has done a great job of getting those guys ready to play. They've grabbed onto the mental part of it really well. It's fun to see those guys running around. Up front, "Dollar Bill" [Kwatrivous Johnson] and Kam have really stood out. Their size and athleticism is really strong. Those two have bright futures and we're excited about them. Heading outside to the receivers, with Stephen [GUIDRY] being the junior college transfer, we finally got an opportunity to see him out there as he continues to get healthy. He's showing some really good flashes of things we can get excited about. [Devonta Jason] is kind of the same thing. Cam Gardner has been a pleasant surprise. We switched him over to receiver in the summertime. He's a really bright kid who is fun to have in the room and we're excited to see what his future is looking like, too. Offensively, the newcomers who have come to camp have come ready to go. They took advantage of the summer to get their bodies in shape to get ready for the kind of competition that our defense presents us every day, so I'm excited. I think the young group of guys are going to be something to be excited about for a few years down the road."
 
On the pressure of the wide receiver corps to improve from last season…

"They're kind of the focus group right now and there's a lot of competition there, too, so it's bringing out the best in everybody. That group has gotten better every single day. It was a group that, when we walked out in the spring, we didn't think everybody had a good grasp of what we were doing. They, as much as any group on the offense, really did an outstanding job. Coach Piroli got their butts in shape. They look faster. The guys have done a great job of paying attention in the meetings and applying it to the field and taking the fundamentals we talk about in the individual periods and applying it to the practice field. I'm extremely excited about their progress. They're just the focus group and they're all in competition with themselves. There are multiple people at each position, so that helps. There's no complacency going on in that room at all. I think everyone's playing a little better each and every day. I think we put a lot of that pressure on ourselves and say that this team is going to flow how we flow."
 
On the progression of Stephen Guidry and Devonta Jason as early-enrollees…

"That early enroll was huge. Those two guys are just football guys and it helps the other guys in the room. [Jason's] body has just transformed and so has Stephen's, who gained 20 pounds over the summer, so we were able to get their bodies ready to play in this league. The mental part—going out and experiencing, Whop got that in the spring and Stephen didn't. Now, Stephen's going through that right now. That early enroll is huge for anybody and to be able to get that experience is the reason why they're able to have so much success early on here at camp."
 
On teaching vertical routes and stretching the field…

"Anytime you're putting an offense together, you're thinking about how you're going to stretch them vertically and how you're going to stretch them horizontally. As you're putting your installations together, you're going to have to have a little bit of that in your plan. After you put that in your plan, you have to go out and practice it. That's a big part of our individual periods. We're training to throw, we're training to catch the different types of catches you have to make when you're down the field. Then you get into going against an opponent. That goes back to the installation—you have to be able to run the football, protect and play-action and you have to be able to throw the ball downfield. There aren't many teams that can just catch the ball from center and throw the ball downfield. The success of this offense has come because they had the leading rusher in the conference, which has helped the passing game. It's creating matchups. If you have your best player against your opponent's and it's one-on-one, you feel really good about those opportunities. We want to create as many opportunities as possible. If we don't run the ball well, they're going to have two on our one best matchup. I think running the football puts more people in the box and creates more isolation around the outside. Then, we fall back onto our training. The quarterback's learning to throw the ball, because it's a very difficult throw, and if you don't practice it you won't be very good at it. It's something we've stressed since we've gotten here. The last part of it is the mentality of the play-caller. Coach Moorhead's an aggressive guy and the situation is not going to dictate his personality—he's going to dictate it."
 
On the "Good to great" foundation of the offense…

"This culture is changing every single day. In the offensive room, we focus on the fundamentals. The very first thing we've done in our meetings is taking a step back and making it about the basics. Myself and the coaches are talking about the fundamentals. We're not talking about the play. In the very first unit meeting we had, we were talking about the fundamentals of catching the football or ball security, run-blocking or pass-blocking. So, we're taking care of the fundamentals first so that we can build off of that. It's not about the play, it's about how we execute. That's part of the "good-to-great," because if we do those things really well and they turn into really great, then the plays execute really great. It's a foundation that we're building with these guys. Like [Coach Moorhead] has said, we're building this thing on rock and not sand."
 
On anything he learned from coaching around Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers…

"He certainly does a lot of things you can't teach. He is a very special player. There was a lot of benefits to being around him the last four years. His approach with his teammates, the way he practices and the way he leads. A lot of that stuff, I've brought here. Coach Breiner and I have worked really well together in implementing all the successes that Joe has had, plus some of this other stuff that I believe that will help us be better, too. Aaron has been instrumental in my coaching career. He leads by example every single day. He's a guy who is All-Pro and is taking every single rep in walkthroughs. It's his mentality that he wants to make sure that everybody is on the same page that he is. When you have someone that great, with practice habits like that, that's something I can bring here every single day."
 
On how much he'd like the quarterback to run the football…

"It's a special talent that Nick [Fitzgerald] has, so it'd be ignorant to not notice and be aware of that. That's definitely going to be part of our game plan—it has to be. He's a really good runner with the football and he's tough as nails. The defense is going to dictate what we do. We're going to game plan every single week and find the best ways to get those matchups and opportunities to get him the ball. He's going to be throwing it. He's going to be running it. He's going to be making decisions at the line of scrimmage, which is something that maybe he didn't have to do before. We're going to put a lot of stress on him. He's a smart guy, a bright guy and he's good at throwing the football, too. We'll go as far as our quarterback takes us. We're lucky to have Nick. He's a guy who can do a lot of things—he's a dual-threat for sure."

Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop

Opening Statement…

"It's very evident that the guys worked hard this summer. They've come to camp in shape, and we've practiced very well. We have a lot of veteran leadership on the defensive side, so we're very fortunate in that respect. We are setting the pace and championship standard that coach talks about. I'm looking forward to tonight, and three weeks from today as we open against Stephen F. Austin. When the coaches are off to the side, and they are communicating with one another, then we'll learn more about our team."
 
On secondary players in camp…

"We've had a pretty good camp so far. We have several players that have played a lot. With the corner position, (Cameron) Dantzler, (Jamal) Peters and (Chris) Rayford have all played a lot. (Tyler) Williams and (Maurice) Smitherman have had very good camps as well. At safety we have (Mark) McLaurin and (Jonathan) Abram, who are real veterans. They create as good of a tandem at safety as there is. They have put themselves in the mix to get playing time. We need to establish some depth there. I've been pleased with (Stephen) Adegoke and (CJ) Morgan. They've really stepped up in camp. (Londyn) Craft and (Landon) Guidry have done a nice job as well. We feel like we have some pretty good depth there. Everyone talks about the depth we have on the D-line, but we have good depth that we will continue to develop over the next three weeks."

On veteran players…

"When you look at last year's team, the older players like McLaurin have had five defensive coordinators. Those negatives are really positives because they know the game. They can talk the game. It's not like talking to a high school kid. It's really like talking to a veteran football player. We alter our scheme to what our players are capable of doing. We're still identifying what the players' strengths and weaknesses are, which is an ongoing thing. McLaurin and (Brian) Cole are real playmakers, and I can say interchangeable. They are versatile enough to do different things. What is non-negotiable about our scheme is that it's built on a pursuit of never-ending pressure. It's not about bend-don't-break or read-and-react, but it's about an attack."

On inheriting a defense that's experienced coordinator turnover…

"I've found it to be very refreshing. You come here not knowing the guys, and you get to know their personalities. The blue-collar work ethic of our team is true. The student-athletes on our roster are mentally tough, smart and football players with a great work ethic. That lends itself to success in the SEC. I've inherited defenses without that type of leadership. My first defense at Penn State in 2014 had the same type of situation. There was continuity between Joe Paterno, Bill O'Brien then coach Franklin. There hadn't been a lot of head coaches, but the fourth-year players there had had four different defensive coordinators. It was that same situation, and those guys could talk the game. The upper classmen were very mature, and they went on to success at the next level. That defense went on to be the best in the country in run defense, so we will see what happens."

On (Jett) Johnson…

"I enjoy talking to Jett. The young players get a handful of reps at the end of each series during practice, and they come out with big eyes and jumping around. He comes out like a veteran, and the stage doesn't appear to be too big for him. He isn't ready for prime time, and today will be a big step in his development, but he has an opportunity to learn behind (Erroll) Thompson and (Tim) Washington at that position. We also have a junior college guy there named (Sh'mar) Kilby-Lane, so we have good depth at that position. Johnson won't necessarily come out like Brian Urlacher today, but he gets the game of football. He has a command and presence about him. I told him, when he gets out there, to just take a deep breath and do his thing. So far he's done a good job."

On (Marcus) Murphy…

"He's a local hero as a state champion and leader within his program. We're very proud having him and Johnson as part of our first class. I specifically coach Murphy. He's fast, competitive and tough. He's still learning a bit about the game on the defensive side, but he's got it. He's a playmaker. He's taking the next step in the progression of doing everything right. Sometimes you need to take one step back to take two steps forward. These first seven or eight days have been good, but he hasn't made as many plays as in the spring. At the scrimmage tonight, my gut tells me he will make a few plays. The arena is never too big for him. He probably plays better without coaches standing behind him, but I think he has a tremendously bright future in the long term."

On (Jeffery) Simmons and (Montez) Sweat…

"I haven't coached a game with these guys yet, so it's hard to say. On the field, it doesn't take long it identify who numbers 95 and 9 are. Simmons is the alpha dog and undisputed leader of the defense. He is very fun to coach. He practices, competes and plays hard. To be a great defensive team it requires intensity and attention to detail, and he has all those things. He's strong, and he moves incredibly well for his size. He's had a great career thus far, and we have high expectations for him this fall. He's going to have a very bright future. I was concerned Sweat would make the decision to go to the next level, but he made a smart business decision on deciding to stay. I don't think he's played enough football yet. He's a first-team all-returning players. My observations of him are that he's worked as hard as anyone in the program during the offseason. Through six or seven practices, he's been one of the most dominant players on the field. He's very driven to have a great year. He has a positive attitude, work ethic and he's very competitive."

On Kilby-Lane…

"He's done a good job. I didn't get to know him a lot during the recruiting process because of the early signing date. He committed here without visiting at that point. He didn't go through the spring, so I didn't have a very strong relationship with him at that point. I have really enjoyed camp getting to know him. His story of getting here is a very interesting one. Between coach Lukabu and our staff, we will provide him tools to be successful as a man, student and player. As a player, he's pretty good and with good instincts. He's a bit behind like a lot of the first-year players because the terminology is a bit new to him. You can tell he's played at this level, whether at Florida State or in junior College. He needs to stay healthy, so most of the drills have been non-tackling drills to keep him healthy. Coach Lukabu and myself are very pleased with his progress so far."

On cornerbacks…

"Last year, they were asked to play a lot of press technique. In zone defense, a lot of match concepts are bodies-on-bodies. Your vision isn't directly on the quarterback. You may have less completion percentage, but you may have less interceptions. Those guys have done a great job embracing that. Through the first few practices, we've had about 15 interceptions. That is good for the defense, and not good for the offense. Some days are good for the offense and not good for the defense. Dantzler has good hands and has played the ball. He's long, athletic and good. Peters is the same way. He's come away with a few interceptions, and (Tyler) Williams has come away with a few interceptions too. Those guys are embracing the fact that they're not in press-corner positions. When you recruit a corner, you look at the same things you see in a receiver."

Special Teams Coordinator Joey Jones

Opening statement

"First of all I want to say I am very excited about being at Mississippi State. I am very thankful for the opportunity Coach Moorhead gave me. I want to say one thing about Coach Moorhead. In all my years of coaching, I think there are a few guys that are elite in the coaching world. There are a lot of great guys out there that do a great job. In my opinion there's about five percent that are elite. There is no doubt in my mind that Coach Moorhead is one of those guys. He has been a tremendous guy to work for. He is a guy that understands football. He under stands young men. He understands how to recruit and organize practices. He checks all the boxes and is very high on all the categories. I want to thank him for that. As far as our goal for a special teams unit, our goal is to be the No. 1 special teams in the SEC. That is a very important facet of what we are doing. We want to be the best and we have to approach every day like that. My goal is to get out guys to understand it and get it done in games."
 
On where freshman safety Marcus Murphy fits on special teams

"Marcus is a very good athlete. He has a great attitude and comes to work every day. He is a young guy and is really trying to learn what we are trying to teach him. I expect him to be on the field for sure."
 
On the status of the punter battle

"We aren't going to make any decisions until at least the following weekend. There are a lot of evaluations to be done and data to obtain. We chart them every day. The guy with the best stats is the guy who is going to be the kicker. I think they have both done well. Tucker (Day) has gotten much more consistent. Kody (Schexnayder) has always been consistent. They both want the job, so we will see here in a couple of weeks."
 
On his input outside of special teams

"One thing he asks me to do during practice is walk around and look at every athlete, evaluate him and see where he fits in on special teams. I go through every cornerback, safety, linebacker and on down the list. I try to find a guy we have overlooked. You think you know who the players are until you evaluate them. I have never had the opportunity to do that. It has been extremely helpful. We have found three or four guys who weren't on our list doing that. Coach Moorhead is very open to suggestions. He is a smart man who knows what he wants to do but he still takes input from us. We try to help in any way we can."
 
On sophomore kicker Jace Christmann

"The key is he is competing with Jordan Lawless right now. They have had some great battles out there at this point. Jace is a great person. He comes from a great family. He is the kind of guy you want. He is very conscientious about how he kicks. He had a great year last year and has worked all summer long. We have a great competition there. Jordan is really pushing him."
 
On the kickoff specialist battle

"Right now we have Scott Goodman. He came in as a true freshman. He has a lot of confidence and a strong leg. He is doing some really good things right now. Jace (Christmann) is kind of the backup for that position but Scott has done really well."

Defensive Tackle Jeffery Simmons

On how the preseason has gone …

"Personally, I feel like this is one of the best summers we have had so far. Everybody is locked in, and we are loaded upfront with guys like Chauncey Rivers being able to help out. With our ends, I feel like we have some of the best ones in the county. I feel like we have one of the best defenses in the country."
 
On being an alpha dog and being a leader for the defense…

"When I first got here as a freshman, it was something I always wanted to do. To be able to come and lead. I have been trying to fill in that role, especially on the defensive line. In the spring it was hard to not be out there with those guys, but being able to get the mental reps in and being the leader when I am not on the field. Being the older guy in the room I feel like some of the guys look up to me with both on and off the field stuff. It's a role that I have accepted now."
 
On how you guys have adapted to the new defense…

"Everybody came in with the right mindset. We are all locked in, and we know it's a big change but we are all locked in. We are taking it day by day."
 
On the depth of the team and competing against each other…

"We are always competing against each other, and saying we got guys making plays every day and when some guys don't make a play, we come in the next day and watch the film. We see that guy, and the other guy make a play and I feel like that just pushes the other guy to go harder for the next day."
 
On you and Montez competing last year for sacks and how to take it to the next level this year…

"Me and Montez are always competing with each other, especially early in the season. It wasn't really a double team on us at first, so that was kind of easy. Then once we got towards the middle of the season it opened up for Montez, and that's something I take pride in. I am happy for Montez because I'm pulling double team, that leaves him one on one with guys and that's what we like."
 

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WBK - MSU and Deep 3 Select Teams

ROME – Teaira McCowan continued to do what makes her an All-American, as her 19 points and 10 rebounds combined with 18 points from Chloe Bibby to lead Mississippi State past Deep 3 Select 97-49 in Rome, Italy, on Saturday.
 
With a back-and-forth contest through the opening half of the first quarter, Bibby and McCowan combined to score State's last 10 points as MSU led 23-18.
 
State turned up the defense in the second half, out-scoring Deep 3 Select 25-9. McCowan tallied 14 points in the opening half, including eight in the second quarter, while Bibby notched 11 opening-quarter points.
 
"We've come to expect double-doubles from Teaira, but Chloe is going to be a big one for us," 2018 Naismith National Coach of the Year Vic Schaefer said. "She's going to have to shoot it well, and she's been doing that all summer. Chloe, Teaira and Jazzmun (Holmes) have been really consistent for us all summer."
 
MSU continued the offensive input in the third quarter, posting a 24-13 edge to lead 72-40. The sophomore Bibby knocked down a 3-pointer and hit two more buckets to wrap her final quarter of action with seven points.
 
Jordan Danberry joined McCowan and Bibby in double figures with 10 points.
 
"It was a fun game, and I thought our kids played hard," Schaefer said. "After the first quarter we settled in and just had a different energy level. I was really pleased with how hard we played from the second quarter on. It was fun to see a lot of new faces out there play so well."
 
The win concluded the Bulldogs' stop in Rome. During the visit, MSU toured Vatican City and the Colosseum, as well as the famous Trevi Fountain.
 
State hits the road Sunday for Florence, where it will visit the Accademia Gallery for a viewing of Michaelangelo's "David." 
 
The Bulldogs return to action Monday at 9 a.m. CT in Florence against German squad TK Hannover.

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Evening Warmups vs. LSU

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Mississippi State soccer will wrap up its preseason schedule on Saturday, Aug. 11, with an exhibition match at Marquette. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.
 
The Bulldogs dropped a closed scrimmage to Wisconsin, 2-0, on Friday morning.
 
"For sure the better team won today because they did better where it mattered," head coach Tom Anagnost said. "We didn't have nearly enough good individual performances and did not make enough plays."
 
The loss to Wisconsin marked the first time, in exhibition or regular season play, that MSU had lost by more than one goal since Oct. 20, 2016, when the Bulldogs fell, 3-0, at Tennessee.
 
"I don't believe we showed our identity (against Wisconsin), and we made too many simple errors that cost us," Anagnost said. "The good news is we got nine new players in the game and got better as the game went on. We will improve."
 
Anagnost hopes two preseason contests against top-tier teams will prepare his squad for a difficult conference schedule. The SEC held the highest RPI in the nation last season and put nine teams in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs will face all nine this season.
 
Marquette, like Wisconsin, made the tournament and should offer a challenge to a young MSU squad that features the most freshman of any SEC team. The Golden Eagles were picked to finish third in the BIG EAST this season and return seven of their 11 starters from a year ago.
 
State opens the season on Aug. 16 at home against Southern Miss. The game will be broadcast live on SEC Network beginning at 7 p.m.
 
For more information on the Bulldog soccer program, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateSOC." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."

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Media Day Schedule

STARKVILLE, Miss. – With a full week of practices complete in Mississippi State football's preseason training camp, the Bulldogs will host their annual media day beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT Saturday live on SEC Network .

Media day will be streamed on WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app. Live coverage is also available through MSU football's social media channels:
Twitter - @HailStateFB
Facebook - /HailStateFB
Instagram - @HailStateFB

Saturday's schedule is as follows:
12:30 p.m. – Head Coach Joe Moorhead
1 p.m. – Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy
1:20 p.m. – Defensive Coordinator Bob Shoop
1:40 p.m. – Special Teams Coordinator Joey Jones
2 p.m. – players

The Bulldogs will begin Saturday in uniform with a team picture. Saturday evening will be the squad's first scrimmage of camp. The scrimmage will be closed to the public.

Anticipation continues to build in Moorhead's first season. The 18th-ranked Bulldogs host Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 1 in Davis Wade Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

Season tickets, mini-plans and individual game tickets for the 2018 Bulldog season can be purchased at HailState.com/tickets, by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS or in person at the MSU Athletic Ticket Office on the first floor of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building (288 Lakeview Drive), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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