Bulldogs want to build more depth on defense
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, right, shows his emotion during a game last season. (Photo by Lee Adams)
Geoff Collins didn't lose many players on the defensive side of the ball from last year's team.
The Mississippi State defensive coordinator lost three seniors on defense, and only two of those played in the bowl game win against Rice.
Linebacker Deontae Skinner and defensive lineman Denico Autry were on the two-deep chart for the game against Rice. Safety Nickoe Whitley was a starter throughout the season, but was lost for the bowl game due to a knee injury.
Collins wants to get back to 22, but will take three more if he can find them.
"We had 20 coming into this season that were in the two-deep last year in the bowl game," Collins said at a media gathering on Wednesday. "We're trying to find 25. I think we're close to having the full two-deep ready to go. We don't talk about depth charts around here, so we're just trying to find 25 guys that are ready to play significant minutes on Saturday."
As Collins mentioned, there aren't starters and backups. If you are good enough in the eyes of Collins and head coach Dan Mullen, then you play on Saturday.Â
"We talk about being above the line," Collins said. "If you're above the line, you are going to play on Saturdays for us."
The Bulldogs don't refer to them as starters or backups. They are labeled 1-A's and 1-B's.
in ALS challenge
Collins and cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend participated in the the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after practice Wednesday.
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"That was fun," Collins said. "They got me and coach Townsend. They called us out and (we) did the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was good."
Bulldog quarterback Dak Prescott participated in the challenge last week. Freshmen quarterbacks Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley did the honors. MSU Athletic Director Scott Stricklin was also dumped by ice water earlier this summer.
The challenge has swept the nation with many people, including sport stars and celebrities participating. It is to help raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Challengers also donate money to the cause.