This week’s game: South Alabama (1-2) at No. 23 MSU (3-0), Saturday, 6 p.m., PPV (Bart Gregory and Jackie Sherrill)
After escaping Troy with a 30-24 win last weekend, MSU has a fresh perspective on what it means to be truly honed in on an opponent. In today’s opinion offering, I look at how that game – especially for the defense – served as a “kick to the butt,” as linebacker Cam Lawrence put it.
As I wrote in the column, I believe this game to be an anomaly – out of the norm, not something I expect to be repeated against this type of opponent. MSU has South Alabama this week, a team with a very similar offensive philosophy to Troy’s, although probably not with the same caliber of athlete (certainly not as many athletes).
The State offense needed a little jolt, too, after that game.
“Last game was a wake-up call for us,” quarterback Tyler Russell said. “Nobody’s going to give you anything. You gotta play every game. That’s one thing we tried to stress in the offseason. In recent years, we probably would have found a way to lose that game.”
Losing to Troy would have been a terrible blow for MSU, but it survived, and now it moves on. We spoke with Lawrence on Tuesday night, and he felt the defense’s struggles had more to do with MSU than with Troy.
“I really don’t think it was the tempo that got to us,” he said, “I think it was just the fact that we weren’t locked in and focused all throughout the week during practice.”
I’ve got some video of Lawrence below. Enjoy.