October 16, 2008

Croom, Bulldogs get back to winning ways

Sometimes reflection can reap benefits.

Just ask Sylvester Croom and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

After a disappointing start, the Bulldogs looked back at how they achieved success in 2007 and played like their old selves this past Saturday with a 17-14 win over Vanderbilt.

"When things don't work, you start to look back at when you had success in the past and start to remember how you got to where you were," Croom said. "When you try things and they don't work then you go back to dancing with the one you came with. That is sort of what we are doing. I talked to our players in the offseason because we didn't handle success very well. We thought we had arrived and we could just roll a ball out there and things were going to happen good. But the only way we can win is to be a sound, disciplined and very physical football team."

Part of MSU's success is due in part to their change at quarterback. Croom has stuck with Tyson Lee the entire way the last two games and enjoyed their most efficient offensive games of the season.

"One thing is that Tyson is very accurate in his passes," Croom said. "I think there is a clear distinction there. He is also very aggressive in his running which is not something natural that he does. He has made himself do better than what he was doing earlier in the season. When things broke down, he was aggressive in going to get the first down with his feet. That makes a significant difference in keeping drives alive."

State hopes to build on their most recent success this weekend at Tennessee. But as the Bulldogs found out in a 33-21 loss last year, beating the Volunteers won't be easy.

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