This week’s game: Auburn (0-1, 0-0 SEC) at MSU (1-0, 0-0), Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown)
It’s not that Mississippi State’s wide receivers didn’t have goals and weren’t motivated before, but the arrival of Tim Brewster seems to have crystallized everything for the Bulldog ball-catchers. In today’s Journal, you can read about their new attitude under Brewster, who’s been on the job less than two weeks.
He’s emphasized the important of “signing their name to their performance” and taking special pride in being receivers. That has resonated well with the group, which was close-knit to begin with because of what the seniors have gone through together.
“If you look at it, most of us have been playing since we were freshmen,” senior Chad Bumphis said. “That’s what we want to do, is send a message, and we want to kind of put fear in DBs when they know they’re playing us. We’ve all got game experience, we know what we’re doing, so that’s just the message we want to send.”
There are plenty of young, talented players in the mix, too. They’ve also taken to Brewster’s teachings and are following the lead of guys like Bumphis and Arceto Clark.
“We’ve got a veteran group, so we look up to Chad, ‘Ceto, Chris (Smith),” sophomore Jameon Lewis said. “Then coach Brewster came in with some powerful words, and he’s getting us to run and block harder. I think this is our year.”
Running harder, blocking harder – that speaks to Brewster’s ability to motivate. He’s talked before about improving the receivers’ blocking, and if he’s getting them to embrace the little things like that, it bodes well for the season. The receivers also don’t appear to be too worried about getting a lot of catches, and the Jackson State game showed how much balance this group can have.
“I got everybody involved, and I’m going to have to keep doing that as the season progresses,” Brewster said. “We’re going to have some kids get hurt, the mentality is, next man up. We’ve got no excuses not to perform in the game. That’s our deal. When we line up, we’re going to execute, and we’re going to win.”