October 7, 2008

Croom's Tuesday Press Conference

Vanderbilt has no doubt been the surprise team in the Southeastern Conference this season and possibly the country.

The Commodores are off to a 5-0 start and are currently ranked No.13 in the AP Poll. Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom realizes the opportunity his team has this Saturday will not be an easy one.

"We are looking forward to playing Vanderbilt," Croom said. "They are ranked No. 13 this week and playing very good football. They are not very high in a lot of statistical categories but they are doing what it takes to win. Basically that is play smart, disciplined football and not beating themselves. They are not turning the ball over and making penalties. In fact they are leading the conference right now in turnover margin and in fewest penalties. They are playing very well as a team. I think they have been behind in each of their five ball games and comeback to win. They are not starting games well but they are finishing them very well."

Croom feels as if Vanderbilt is a mirror image of his Bulldog squad a season ago that went 8-5 including a Liberty Bowl win. The Commodores have shown a knack this year for overcoming sluggish starts to finish the games on top in the end.

"They are exactly like we were last year," Croom said. "They are very opportunistic. They make things happen and a lot of it is confidence. When things start to happen good for you, you keep doing those things. A lot of it is everybody buying into the little things and not beating yourselves with penalties or turning the football over."

Croom believes the Vanderbilt secondary is one of its strengths with D.J. Moore in the forefront.

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