In the season opener against Oklahoma State, much has been made about the matchup between the Bulldogs' secondary and the Cowboys' passing game. MSU redshirt freshman corner Cedric Jiles talked about that matchup among other topics earlier this week:
Q: It is a pretty intense battle with a lot of guys for the starting cornerback spots.
Jiles: It's good and we all better each other. We all go hard every day and we got to have a good rotation. Oklahoma State wants to run a lot of plays and run no-huddle offense. So we all got to be ready to come into the game, accept the challenge and be ready to play.
Q: The season opener against Oklahoma State presents a big test for the cornerbacks. What's your thoughts about that matchup?
Jiles: We're looking forward to the challenge. Like I said, we want to step up and make plays and show the world what we got.
Q: Last year you played in three games before hurting your hand and drawing a medical redshirt. Although it was just a few games, do you feel it helped prepare you for this season?
Jiles: It does. Playing last year, it lets you know what to expect on the field and how to prepare. When you step on the field you got to play hard and play fast. The SEC has a lot of fast guys so you got to come out there and play every down.
Q: Some of the players have said this week actually feels somewhat like game week. And you?
Jiles: I mean, it feels great. The defense is excited (to start) and we're just trying to better our offense day after day. You know you are getting closer and closer when you got just seven more practices. That is seven more practices to get better and seven more practices to play hard.
Q: Have you watched much film yet on Oklahoma State?
Jiles: I have. Their go-to guy is really No. 5 (junior Josh Stewart) and he is a slot guy. We are going to play hard and try to stop him.
Q: How do you guys combat their passing attack and quick-paced offense?
Jiles: It gives us confidence with all of our summer workouts and all the time we put in and the hard work. You pay attention in the film room and study and working hard gives us a lot of confidence.
Q: And about this being an underdog role for Mississippi State and also the challenge the corners face with Oklahoma State's offense?
Jiles: I think it just motivates me. It gives me more determination to go out there and make a play. (I have to be) mentally strong because they run a lot of plays consecutively. You got to make plays and just hurry up and get off the field so we can get our offense the chance to score points.