Luke previews Egg Bowl

The game is Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Posted: Nov 26, 2019 6:06 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss Football Head Coach Matt Luke met with the media Monday to preview Thursday's Egg Bowl game against Mississippi State (6:30 p.m. CT, ESPN). The full transcript can be found below.

Opening statement…
"I'm excited about Egg Bowl week. This is a big game for us, for our program. National TV, it's really a showcase game for the entire state of Mississippi, so we're excited about the opportunity. It's obviously a huge game for a number of reasons."

Injury update…
"Scottie Phillips practiced yesterday, he'll play. Ben Brown is good to go. Benito Jones cleared concussion protocol and practiced yesterday, so he'll also be good to go. Jon Haynes is probable, little bit gimpy on his ankle, but I think as we move closer to Thursday night he'll be ready to go."

On the practice routine with the short week and open date…
"We treated yesterday like a Tuesday, today is basically a Wednesday practice. With us having the open date, we did have the luxury of setting it up that way."

On the margin of defeat last year impacting the players…
"I think this game stands alone and you can't worry about what happened last year. These are two brand new teams, different set of circumstances, but I think you really don't need any extra motivation when it comes to this game. It's very important on its own."

On mentioning to players, the possibility of a bowl at 5-7…
"I think that's out there because enough people have been talking about it, but not really. It's not something we're talking about, we're focused on this game and if something does happen you welcome all the extra practice time and the ability to go to a bowl with a young team. It's like an extra spring practice, so it would be a positive, but you're certainly not focused on that. Our guys are dialed in on this game."

On Mississippi State's players suspended being back for this game…
"We have the luxury of having every game that they've played, so they have all played at one time or another. You're prepared and ready to go no matter what happens. They're going to play all their guys, we're going to play all of ours, and we'll be ready for whatever combination they throw at us."

On Mississippi State's defense…
"They're very athletic. They do a good job of movement and creating negative plays in the backfield. They have a very good pressure system; Coach (Bob) Shoop does a good job with that. The movement and their ability to blitz and get in the backfield to create negative plays, that's what you see when you turn the tape on."

On the emotions of the game…
"This is a very emotional and passionate game, and it should be, like all rivalry games should be with two passionate fan bases. It's a great college football game, but at the end of the day, you still have to go out there and play football. You have to play football between the whistles and take care of your business and go play really hard. All the other stuff is not going to affect the outcome of the game."

On his feelings towards the rivalry game…
"I think you want to be real, you don't want to be fake. It is an emotional and passionate game. I think the whole thing is that I am born and raised in the state of Mississippi. When the game is on Thursday night, and it's a national television game, you want the whole state of Mississippi to be shed in a good light with a good football game, two passionate fan bases and two good teams out there playing hard. That is the way it should be."

On who stands out for Mississippi State…
"The obvious is Kylin Hill. He's the leading rusher in the Southeastern Conference. He is a very good player and does a great job making people miss, breaking tackles, yards after contact, all of those things he is very good at. Both quarterbacks can run the football. You add that dimension, you have to account for all 11 guys all the time. And then the play action that comes off of it."

On the Mississippi State defense…
"I think they have several young defensive linemen that show up and do a really good job there. They are long at corner. They do a good job at press-man. What I alluded to earlier, they do a really good job with their pressures. They bring pressure and create negative plays, so I think that will be a big key for us. Staying on schedule, and not letting the pressure cause turnovers and things like that. They've been able to do that some as well."

On the Mississippi State quarterbacks…
"We have to be prepared for both. They went with (Tommy) Stevens last game up until the last five minutes. So, you assume he'll be the starter, but (Garrett) Shrader has done a good job with his legs and running the football. He's been competitive and diving for extra yards and all of those things. I think they are pretty similar. They both try to hurt people on the ground and have some play-actions off of it, so just being prepared for both, but they are pretty similar that way."

On the offensive line…
"I think we had a lot of question marks coming into the season. I think Coach Jack Bicknell has done an outstanding job. I think where they right now, compared to where they were after the Memphis game, it's a different unit. I think they have improved game to game and I think they've done a good job gelling and coming together. They are a cohesive unit and they are playing good, hard football. Very improved is how I would describe it. From the start to the finish, they've gotten better and give credit to Coach Bicknell for that."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 481397

Reported Deaths: 9395
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32996486
Hinds30973586
DeSoto30491353
Jackson23650348
Rankin21267368
Lee14867220
Madison14145271
Jones13365226
Forrest13125238
Lauderdale11538305
Lowndes10418176
Lamar10184130
Pearl River9055219
Lafayette8218137
Hancock7501112
Washington7033150
Oktibbeha6937124
Monroe6491161
Neshoba6463201
Warren6439163
Pontotoc626593
Panola6219126
Bolivar6105144
Marshall6102121
Union573086
Pike5590136
Alcorn536090
Lincoln5297131
George470072
Scott456096
Leflore4468140
Prentiss445277
Tippah443680
Itawamba4430100
Adams4403116
Tate4351101
Simpson4324112
Wayne431566
Copiah431087
Yazoo423086
Covington414792
Sunflower4137104
Marion4087104
Leake397186
Coahoma394298
Newton368775
Grenada3553104
Stone350659
Tishomingo334689
Attala324886
Jasper313762
Winston303591
Clay295273
Chickasaw286665
Clarke280290
Calhoun265140
Holmes261887
Smith249549
Yalobusha220547
Tallahatchie218850
Walthall210558
Greene207845
Lawrence206033
Perry199353
Amite198152
Webster195942
Noxubee178239
Montgomery172054
Jefferson Davis167642
Carroll161937
Tunica152734
Benton142035
Kemper138440
Claiborne126634
Choctaw126326
Humphreys126337
Franklin116628
Quitman103626
Wilkinson101536
Jefferson88833
Sharkey62820
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 781915

Reported Deaths: 13798
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1109621748
Mobile706071213
Madison49359617
Baldwin36054485
Shelby35933311
Tuscaloosa33540540
Montgomery32996673
Lee22337218
Calhoun20935400
Morgan19666329
Etowah18890454
Marshall17575274
Houston16598377
St. Clair15287298
Limestone14442184
Cullman14441252
Elmore14299259
Lauderdale13395278
Talladega12781234
DeKalb12102233
Walker10495328
Autauga9611135
Blount9595154
Jackson9293152
Coffee8764174
Dale8485171
Colbert8448180
Tallapoosa6557177
Escambia6541117
Covington6409165
Chilton6314142
Russell600655
Franklin5744101
Chambers5350133
Marion4748116
Dallas4672185
Clarke459177
Pike458895
Geneva4333116
Winston420292
Lawrence4099108
Bibb405680
Barbour342969
Marengo324783
Monroe316652
Butler316088
Randolph302855
Pickens300673
Henry299657
Hale290483
Cherokee286752
Fayette276473
Washington245048
Crenshaw236768
Clay226264
Cleburne225750
Macon218057
Lamar192541
Conecuh180146
Lowndes170758
Coosa167533
Wilcox159636
Bullock148642
Perry136336
Sumter124136
Greene120542
Choctaw73326
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