By Jay Coulter
Mississippi State hasn’t been on national television a total of 25 hours in its history.
Beginning next Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET, the World Wide Leader will begin carrying pregame festivities with Reese Davis as host. Can you handle Lou Holtz and Desmond Howard for 25 hours? It sounds like a fitting punishment for Michael Vick.
Practicing in full pads, the first and second teams scrimmaged against each other in a set of pre-scripted plays designed to get game timing down, particularly in substituting from the sidelines.
"We put in a lot of our substitutions and we did a lot of special teams," said Tuberville. "It was good to see the speed of the game. Some of these young guys don't realize how quick you have to get in during substitutions, and that you have to be ready for special teams."
Fullback Carl Stewart continues to struggle with a nagging hamstring injury. He hasn’t practiced since August 2nd. He hopes to be back in a few days, but Tommy Tuberville isn’t so sure.
"It’s not set in stone Carl will be ready," Tuberville said. "He’s looking pretty good out there. He’s running three-quarters speed, but he hasn’t done anything in three weeks."
As we said last week, it looks like the best bet for now is to move Ben Tate to fullback for the Kansas State game. That’s not a bad idea.
After a lively off-season, linebacker Tray Blackmon has been relatively quiet during fall practice. Blackmon has fought his way back from several off-field issues and says that he’s learned his lesson and is ready to go. Not since Takeo Spikes have we seen someone with this much talent at linebacker.
It’s hard to believe that he’s only played six games. He already has enough film to fill up a highlight reel. Auburn linebackers coach James Willis tells the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that Blackmon is as fundamentally sound as any he’s ever seen.
"He's very instinctive," Willis said. "You could make a training film off the way he tackles. He has IT. He has a nose for the football and he likes contact. When you have those, along with physical strength and speed to get to the ball, you've got a great player."