A View From… Starkville with Neil Price

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A View From… Starkville with Neil Price

Neil Price
Neil Price

Neil Price is the new play-by-play announcer for Mississippi State football. He is an excellent announcer, one of the truly good guys in the SEC and an excellent successor to the legacy of MSU icons Jim Ellis and Jack Cristil. Neil gives us his insights on Saturday’s huge SEC showdown.

What does Mississippi State need to do to beat Georgia?
“On defense, I think it comes down to how much success Mississippi State can have limiting Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. They are as good a running back combo as any in the country. If Mississippi State can get Georgia into some obvious passing situations, it would give MSU a chance to try to create some pressure with its improved pass rush.”

“Offensively, State needs to get off to a good start. It was able to overcome a slow start at Louisiana Tech two weeks ago, but that’s much harder to do against a Southeastern Conference team.”
Talk about the attributes that make Nick Fitzgerald such an excellent quarterback.
“He’s physically gifted and, I think, deceptively quick for his size. Mentally, Dan Mullen says Nick has a much better understanding of the “hows” and “whys” of directing Mississippi State’s offense than he did a season ago. Nick also entered this season knowing he was going to be “the guy” Not having to worry about winning the starting job allowed him to focus on building chemistry with his receivers.”
There is a lot of talent on MSU’s defensive line and at linebacker, how important is the front to State’s success this year?
“Both of those positions have played very well, so far. By all accounts, Jeffery Simmons is a much better player than he was a season ago. That showed up in a big way at Louisiana Tech. He blocked two kicks, recovered one of them for a touchdown, and scooped up a fumble and returned it 90 yards for another score.”

“The linebackers have done a nice job running to the football. Dez Harris and Gerri Green have been among the leading tacklers on the team. Leo Lewis and Willie Gay Jr. are young but talented. Their ability to contribute early has helped State build quality depth at linebacker.”
What is your take on Georgia this season?
“Having both Michel and Chubb back in the fold, immediately makes them one of the top rushing teams in the country. If a team can run the ball, it always gives itself a chance to win. I thought Georgia’s victory at Notre Dame was impressive, not just because it was won on the road, but because it dominated the line of scrimmage against a quality opponent.”
Are the State faithful appreciative of all that Dan Mullen has accomplished?
“I’m still settling into the job, but I get the impression people in Starkville understand they have one of the best football coaches in the conference. Coach Mullen has led Mississippi State to one of the longest sustained stretches of success it has had in its history. He’s done a great job of taking guys that may not be the highest rated players out of high school and junior college and turning them into quality SEC players. That’s a testament to the hard work he and his staff put in evaluating talent in recruiting and then developing it once it arrives on campus.”
What are some changes you would like to see in college football?
“I don’t know. There are people far smarter than me in charge of making those decisions. I wouldn’t mind seeing pass interference become a spot foul like it is in the NFL. And I think moving the extra point back to the 25 yard-line, like the pros, could create some added drama. I’m also in favor of fewer bowls and an expanded playoff.”


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