How did you do your first game?
"I played three snaps and graded 66%. That's 2 out 3 and not necessarily bad."
Which play did you not make?
"The first one. It was a sweep to the left. I was supposed to cut the guy, but couldn't get it done for whatever reason. I think I tripped or it might have been the nervousness. I'm really not sure. The other two were pass plays and I love to pass block. I did decent on those."
What did you learn in those three plays? Most players say the game is actually faster in the game than in practice.
"To tell you the truth, our defense up front is extremely fast, very quick off the ball. So the quickness wasn't really much of a factor. We really didn't run any plays that were right behind me and the pass plays that we ran were just fundamental pass blocking plays.
"It was a hostile environment. On the third down it did get pretty loud out there. Chris McNeil was playing center and I couldn't hear what he was saying. I realized then how much you need to know your playbook just in case you can't hear what the center is calling. I know it will be worse in Tennessee."
What did your position coach, Coach Campbell, say about your play?
"He said I didn't do a bad job. He's really not one on rewards, but he says enough to keep you from thinking negatively. He said I did a decent job, so I think I did a pretty decent job."
Did he say how much you will play as the season goes along?
"There has been a lot of talk about rotation between Otis (Riddley) and myself at the right guard spot and maybe me playing a little right tackle. If I'm not on the field, I'm going to be cheer leading on the sidelines trying to keep the fans in it."
Did you want to redshirt or did you want to play this season?
"I believe I would have been happy either way. Of course, it is a great experience to be on the field. Everybody wants to be on the field or you wouldn't be playing, but if I have to sit out a little while, that is fine because it is jut a matter of time and I just have to wait out my time."
Do you think even though you may not play a lot, you are going to learn a lot because, instead of being on the scout team where you aren't learning plays, you are with the first and second teamers at practice, traveling with the team and even playing a few plays during the game?
"This is a great learning experience. Even if I had redshirted, they said traveling was still an option and I still would have learned the schemes and the playbook, so everything that I am learning now is getting me ready for whenever he calls number 79 to go on the field. It is a great experience and I am learning a great deal."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org