Dec 30, 2007

Liberty Bowl Champs!

Congratulations to my boys from Starkville on the 4th quarter Liberty Bowl win over UCF. It was a great time for my family and me. Alison, Nathan, Drew, and I went to the game with my brother and his wife. It was an exciting atmosphere and a well-deserved end for a team picked to finish last in the SEC by every national magazine and website. The Liberty Bowl did a great job of hosting.

It started off as a pretty good weather day but by the 4th quarter, the temperature was 38 degrees and was cold. The lack of offense also led to the cold temperature as we spent a lot of time sitting down instead of jumping up and down. 40,000+ state fans, many of them sporting cowbells (I had my 2), brought a very loud and festive atmosphere. I think it was too much for many of the UCF fans.

The defense played an awesome game. They held the nation's leading rusher to his 2nd lowest total of the season and also kept him out of the endzone. The D bent a few times but did not break. Derek Pegues played an incredible game and showed why he was the steal of recruiting when we stole him from Ole Miss out of the South Panola/Oxford pipeline. Attention any South Panola studs - the football in Starkville is pretty exciting these days! Pegues had 2 picks and Keith Fitzhugh had the big one late in the 4th quarter.

The O didn't play to their potential. AD (Anthony Dixon for the rest of you) played a decent game and got over 1,000 yards for the season. He should be pretty special next year. Wesley Carrol kept up his smart play - with the exception of 1 errant pass that was intercepted. An offseason in the weight room and working on technique should make him a much more effective passer next year. With Carrol, AD, a red-shirted Robert Elliott, and many of our receivers coming back, hopes are high in Starkville that next year's squad can actually get out the triple digits in total offense nationwide for the first time in Croom's tenure.

Speaking of the big guy, old Sly has stayed true to his plan of rebuilding and has reaped the reward of hard work, discipline, and building a program by valuing character as much or more than talent. I am proud to say that Sly Croom is the coach of my football team no matter what his career record might be right now. He is the reigning SEC Coach of the year and could have been the National Coach of the Year if not for Ron Zook. I hope that Sly stays at MSU for a while so that maybe one of my boys could play for him one day.

All in all, I am a very proud MSU fan. We had the Co-SEC West Basketball champs, our baseball team made it to Omaha, and the football team won 8 games and the Liberty Bowl. Not bad for a team with one of the smallest athletic budgets in the SEC. Go Dawgs!


Haines said...

I couldn't have said it better bro! We had a great time and THANKS again for making it happen for us! I am glad we got to spend some time together at a ballgame again! Reminds me of the late 90's when we were ringing those cowbells at the ballgames!!


Anonymous said...

How could people have voted for Zook. Do we not forget that before he went to Florida he was caught faxing the Tennessee playbook? How could a blatant cheater win such an award? Typical under the rug sweeping by the sports media to keep a "good" story from going south!