October 20, 2008

Croom's Monday Teleconference

With their bowl hopes dwindling away, Mississippi State and head coach Sylvester Croom continue to press on despite a lackluster 2-5 record.

The Bulldogs most recent loss came in a 34-3 loss at Tennessee but Croom feels the game was much closer than the lopsided score indicated.

"I'm disappointed in the outcome of the game last week," Croom said. "We've got to take advantage of our opportunities. We've still got to tackle better. We missed some tackles at critical points of the game in particular that opening drive of the second half that allowed them to get the ball in the end zone. We've got to make plays when the opportunity presents itself."

Croom and his staff have been forthcoming to the players about how close they are to turning this season around.

"We just continue to talk to them about taking one day at a time," Croom said. "You tell them the only way to get out of this mess is to win a ball game. Winning always feels good. I try to be as honest with them as possible. We played hard, but we didn't always play smart. We missed some huge opportunities to make some plays. It was a game all the way up until midway in the fourth quarter but we didn't get some things done."

One thing MSU did not do Saturday was protect the football in the fourth quarter. Tyson Lee threw three interceptions in the final quarter, two of which the Volunteers returned for touchdowns. Lee returned to the game after sustaining a sprained MCL on the opening drive and finished the game 12-of-23 for 114 yards.

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