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On the hype of this Egg Bowl …

“The records don’t matter. It doesn’t matter who has the better record. It wouldn’t matter if we were ranked one and two. This game is just special. We’re going to come in and play with emotions and from the heart. It’s a good rivalry, and it’s great to be a part of it. You have rivalries inside of households. You have two kids, one going to Mississippi State and one going to Ole Miss. It just means so much to the state of Mississippi. Everybody is buzzing on social media. It’s big, and it bring that much more of a feeling to the nasty and good rivalry this is.”

On this week last year for him …

“It’s completely different knowing I’m going in, taking all the reps in practice. Last year, I didn’t take very many reps. It’s good just knowing it’s me from the get go and not coming in during the fourth quarter to try to make something happen.”

On the fourth quarter of the 2013 Egg Bowl …

“I was fighting it the whole game [the urge to play]. Damian [Williams] was doing such a good job. I figured he was going to make a play to help us win the game. Emotions got to me, and I wanted to go in. I told [head] coach [Dan] Mullen I was ready to play. He went with me, and I just remember the stadium and atmosphere. It was a great game.”

On the Ole Miss defense …

“They’re good up front. They’re good all the way around. They have a solid defense. We’re just going to worry about being sound on offense and taking care of what we have to do.”

On adjusting to the Ole Miss defense …

“As an offense, we just have to be on the same page with our protections and with the offensive line. We have to make sure we are all communicating with what they’re doing and what they’re doing up front with the blitzes that are coming. If we’re on the same page, we’ll be fine. We’ll be able to pick everything up and make the plays down-the-field.”

On the meaning of this game …

“This game means a lot to me, because it means so much to the university, my teammates and the people of the state of Mississippi. It’s a great rivalry. To be a part of it and be the quarterback of this team and represent Mississippi State going into this rivalry is special.”

On Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace …

“He’s a good quarterback. He makes some good plays. He’s going to throw the ball down field and take some chances. He’s a great competitor.”

On playing well versus Vanderbilt …

“It was good just to get going and get my momentum back. It was good to get some good completions out there. I trusted my guys and let it go downfield. It felt good to get the offense rolling again from the first series all the way through. The defense stopped them on the other side, and it was a good team win. We came in hungry, humble and angry from the past week. We didn’t step on our own toes nor make too many mistakes. We just went out there and played a clean game.”

On Thanksgiving plans …

“I’m sure the local guys, the ones that are an hour or two away from home will go home. Personally, I’ll go to Coach (Brian) Johnson or Coach (John) Hevesy’s house, maybe both and enjoy my family up here.”

On Ole Miss on film …

“They have a good defense. They’re fast up front. Their secondary players get to the ball quickly off the hashes. They move around and are a little bit different in the way they line up pre-snap, but then again, they get to the same spot post-snap. We just have to watch that on film and get comfortable with where they’re going to be and where they’re zone-dropping.”

On Jameon Lewis …

“I never lost any confidence in Jameon. Our connection on the field is something that has been growing since I have gotten here. He being gone for a couple of weeks doesn’t change anything.”

On pressure …

“There’s not any pressure. We’re not worried about playoffs. We’re not worried about anything except this game and how important it is to us, this university and the people of Mississippi.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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