August 27, 2008

Croom awaits first road opener

Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom joined the other 11 coaches around the Southeastern Conference this morning for their weekly teleconference.

Croom remained eager to get his team on the field for the first time Saturday against Louisiana Tech.

"I think we are just like everybody else, we are looking forward to this first game," Croom said. "We've worked awful hard through spring, summer and fall camp. We're just ready to go play."

This will be the first road opener for Croom during his tenure at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have not begun the season on the road since a 2002 loss to Oregon. MSU has however won 10 of their last 12 road openers dating back to 1975.

Mississippi State sports a 7-2 record against Louisiana Tech but this will be their first meeting in Ruston.

"We're going into an environment where we haven't played there historically," Croom said. "Very few of our people have ever played down there so we expect their fans, their players and their coaches to be all excited. I'm sure it's not going to be a very warm reception for us. But we're looking forward to it. This will give us a good test of how we perform on the road right from the beginning of the season."

Coming off an eight win season and a Liberty Bowl victory in 2007, Croom knows the expectations will be high for the Bulldogs.

"The fans expect us to win the national championship," Croom said. "I think that is a little unrealistic at this point. Right now we just want to beat Louisiana Tech and win our first ball game. We're going to stay focused and play it one game at a time. I know that is a cliché but that's how we won last year and that's how we're going to win this year."

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