Relf wants more notice for Bulldogs
Senior quarterback Chris Relf is one of the team leaders this season. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Senior quarterback Chris Relf wants Mississippi State to be the talk on Saturday.
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When he returns close to home to lead the No. 16 Bulldogs against the Auburn Tigers, Relf is a man on a mission.
Being from Montgomery, Ala., and playing at Carver High School, Relf was often reminded of the rivalry between the Crimson Tide and Tigers while growing up between Tuscaloosa and Auburn.
"Every time I go home all I hear is Auburn and Alabama," said Relf. "It's going to be very exciting for me to go down there, take this win and come back to Mississippi State."
Relf's confidence in his team is high after their season opening win over Memphis, but he knows preparing for the defending national champs will require more work.
"We have to execute in practice and eliminate the mental mistakes we made last week," said Relf. "I know they've got a young secondary, but you never doubt a team that's coming off a national championship."
Relf was 13-for-21 for 202 yards and two touchdowns against Memphis, and MSU football coach Dan Mullen likes the way his signal caller is progressing.
"Chris is doing a much better job of managing the game for us in every aspect," Mullen said. "He's getting us in the right plays, making the right decision and not forcing things."
Getting touchdowns have been hard for Relf to come by against Auburn.
Relf hasn't scored a touchdown against Auburn in his career, and in the two games he played, he completed 17 passes out of 37 attempts combined for 187 yards and threw two interceptions.
Despite the lack of success, Relf doesn't feel any extra pressure.
"There's no pressure," said Relf. "I've been playing the game of college football for five years so I'm just going to go out there and execute."
Relf feels that his five years makes him a veteran and playing against the Tigers this year is special.
"This game means a lot to me," said Relf. "I haven't won against Auburn so I'm going to go down there and play like it's my last game."
Relf and the Bulldogs dropped a 17-14 heartbreaker in Starkville last season to the Tigers, but he isn't focusing on that game.
"I study the film but I put that game behind me." said Relf. "I'm just ready to play Saturday."
With the game being only an hour from his hometown, Relf is sure to have family and friends the in crowd and his family has requested tickets but he said "not all of them are going to get to come, I only get four tickets."
Having family in the stands will make for a special day win or lose, but Relf isn't worried about that.
"Mainly I'm just worried about winning, but if I see my family, I might point to them after a score." said Relf.
Winning the SEC opener on the road will not be an easy task, but Relf is using the "underdog" mentality to prepare for his homecoming despite the Bulldogs being a six-point favorite.
"It's still us against the world," said Relf.