Diaz discusses Belk Bowl practices

Mississippi State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz discusses the Bulldogs’ first two Belk Bowl practices and the match-up problems that N.C. State’s offense presents.

On getting the defense back in rhythm after the Christmas break…

“I think it’s a credit to the leadership on your team and I think our guys came here ready to go. I think they respect the time Coach Mullen gave them to be home for Christmas and they understood the urgency when they came back here. We’ll come back out here tomorrow and be ready. We still believe our best game is out there and that’s our goal for Wednesday afternoon.”

On being back in North Carolina after having previously coached at NC State…

“That’s one of the neatest things in coaching, when you see guys that you coached grow in the profession so it’s been a fun experience.”

On what stands out about NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett…

“I don’t remember going against someone as versatile in terms of his ability to hurt you in so many ways. He’s a hard guy to tackle and can extend plays so there’s a lot of things in terms of the stress he puts on your defense. He’s an older guy so he’s seen everything he’s been everywhere so you’re not going to shock him with a look he hasn’t seen.”

On how practicing against Dak Prescott helps the MSU defense…

“Practicing against Dak helps for no matter what. It really challenges our pas defense which I feel like over the year has improved and practice is a big part of that.”

On finding a player comparable to Jacoby Brissett…

“I don’t know of anybody we’ve played this year, but certainly when you see how many sacks he has got them out of its easy to get into the Byron Leftwich-type comparisons, but he’s a challenge and he’s a hard man to get on the ground.”

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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