October 13, 2008

Croom's Monday Teleconference

For head coach Sylvester Croom and his Mississippi State Bulldogs, the bye week could not have come at a better time.

The Bulldogs were reeling after a 1-4 start to the season but the extra week off allowed them time to get healthy and get back to their old selves in terms of winning games as they did in 2007. MSU took full advantage to pull a 17-14 upset of then No. 13 Vanderbilt on Saturday.

"It gave us some time to reflect," Croom said of the open date. "We looked back at the things we did in the preseason and looked at how we played last year and I showed them where we are not playing like that right now. It was good that Vanderbilt was the next game because the success that they were having and the way they were doing it; we got a chance to emphasize that from last year. They were just taking a page out of our book. It's very obvious that we haven't been reading our own book lately. So went back to doing what we do and play football the way we play and that's what we went about doing. They bought into that and you saw the results on Saturday."

Part of the Bulldogs success this past weekend was their ability to convert third downs. State was 9-of-18 in third down conversions due in large to Tyson Lee's ability to scramble out of the pocket when plays broke down.

"Tyson made three big third down conversions," Croom said. "He had to come out of the pocket and create something and that is something he had not done early. To be honest, it was very frustrating early on. In fact in the Louisiana Tech game he slid one time a yard and a half short of a first down. This is something that he has had to learn to do. He is athletic enough to do it so we are very pleased because he kept drives going."

Croom also noted that the offensive success also came through Anthony Dixon. Dixon carried 27 times for 107 yards, his best effort of the season.

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