Hey, look, I'm on time for once. The first game of the football season has a way of getting me back on track and out of my summer insouciance. Y'all asked some good questions, and I've got answers for each and every one of 'em. Here we go.
Q: Given cornerback Darius Slay's recent rise and the fact that he is relatively new to the program, how good is he, or capable of being, compared to Johnthan Banks?
A: That's a high bar, but Slay – a senior who transferred in from ICC last year – could be one of the SEC's surprise players this season.
I asked Dan Mullen about Slay the other day. His response in full: "I think he could be really good. The one thing that set him back a little bit was he came into camp so late last year. Really this is his first time he's gotten to go through the offseason, gotten to understand the defense. Obviously is an extremely talented young man. I think as he gets comfortable in the system now, as he gets the experience not only being comfortable in this system but also being out there, being a starter for us in the secondary, I expect him to have a huge year for us."
Q: Saw something about Joe Morrow not being on the depth chart. What are expectations as to whether he plays this year?
A: Morrow, the redshirt freshman receiver, was accidentally left off the depth chart. Or so Morrow told us earlier this week. He will most definitely play; how much he plays is entirely up to him. If he can find the consistency coaches have been seeking from him in practice, I could see him having a strong freshman season. I don't know, 25-30 catches, a handful of touchdowns?
Q: Can game attendees expect to hear a new playlist of music this season at Davis Wade Stadium?
A: A marketing spokesman told me today that there is no list, but that the DJ will play music similar to what has been played in the past. The pregame tunes will be geared more toward the student-athletes, and then once the game begins it'll be geared toward the fans. Also, much to Bob Carskadon's relief, SANDSTORM.`
Q: Given the fact not many freshmen normally make the two-deep roster, what do you feel the contributions this season will be from Quay Evans, Morrow and Nick James? Do you think either Evans or James will redshirt?
A: We've covered Morrow. As for Evans, he will be in the defensive line rotation, and going through spring practices is a big reason for that. I could see James playing in certain situations, but I wouldn't be surprised if he redshirted just because of the depth MSU has at defensive tackle. That's one big dude, I'll tell ya that.
Q: Over/under: Tyler Russell four TDs and 250 yards this weekend? He's the man when it comes to season openers
A: Indeed he is. In his two previous season openers combined (both against Memphis), Russell completed 18 of 25 passes (72%) for 394 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. His production tomorrow will depend a lot on how many snaps he gets. If MSU gets a comfortable lead early, then Dak Prescott will wind up taking a lot of snaps. I'd probably take the under on the touchdowns, but the 250 seems about right.
Q: Brad, what are you most looking forward to gameday? A) Jackson State Majorettes; B) LaDarius Perkins breaking ankles; C) BBQ Nachos from Little Dooey's; D) None of the above.
A: If you read Monday's entry in the 31 Flavors series, then you know that the answer is my halftime snack of muscadine ripple ice cream. So I guess my answer is D.