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Felker talks cowbells and pigskin

By By Shawn Wansley / EMG Sports Writer
Aug. 27, 2003
ELLISVILLE Rocky Felker was a part of one of Mississippi State's most fabled football games involving cowbells. Felker led the Bulldogs to a near-upset of Auburn, losing 24-21 to the Tigers, in 1974 at Mississippi Memorial Stadium.
After the game, Auburn coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan blamed the cowbells for causing his team to miss some snap counts, which resulted in penalties and fumbles. He filed a complaint with the Southeastern Conference the following week.
Almost 30 years later, the cowbells are out officially for all football games after a league decision last week to ban the bells, beginning with this week's home season opener against Oregon.
The Bulldogs will be trying to reverse the gridiron fortunes of the past two seasons. Mississippi State has gone 3-8 and 3-9 the last two years. Felker, the director of football operations at MSU, believes the Bulldogs are ready to play.
Monday morning, Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill named Moss Point senior Kevin Fant as the starter for Saturday's game over sophomore Kyle York. Felker said Fant has shined in August workouts.
that hasn't been the case this August. He's practiced really good and he's been very consistent.
After last season's disappointment, Sherrill replaced several assistant coaches. He brought in veterans Morris Watts to lead the offense and Ron Cooper to lead the defense. Defensive line coach John Blake, offensive line coach Steve Campbell and wide receivers coach Guy Holliday are also new assistant coaches.
The Bulldogs game against the Ducks will air at 8 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2. Oregon defeated Mississippi State 36-13 last season.