JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | MSU took to the practice fields this afternoon for the second day of Gator Bowl prep here. The Bulldogs were just in shorts and shoulder pads today, and the focus was on third-down work.
Cornerback Cedric Jiles, who’s missed the last nine games with a hand injury, was in a walking boot on the sideline, and starting guard Tobias Smith was riding the stationary bike during the media viewing period.
We caught up with some people afterwards, and we learned that MSU plans to use one or two players to spy on Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who’s rushed for 820 yards this season. The Wildcats have watched a lot of film on MSU’s loss to Texas A&M, which piled up 693 total yards in that game, including 361 on the ground. Quarterback Johnny Manziel had 129 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
“The biggest thing is you’ve got to really control him not only with your front four, but you’ve got to have a guy at the second level who can go tackle this guy,” defensive coordinator Chris Wilson said. “That’s the biggest thing we learned from A&M. You’ve got to have a second-level guy who is designated specifically to tackle this guy. That’s what we’ve done. We’ve got a guy who has to know where he’s at all the time.”
I’ll have more on this topic in tomorrow’s Journal. In the meantime, I’ve got videos of Wilson, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Geoff Collins, cornerback Corey Broomfield, defensive tackle Josh Boyd and linebacker Deontae Skinner. Enjoy.