Sherrill gives MSU a day off

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Nov. 11, 2003
STARKVILLE Mississippi State University players and coaches took a break from each other on Monday.
After suffering their third straight loss since head coach Jackie Sherrill announced his retirement, the Bulldogs (2-7, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) had a day off to start the week.
MSU suffered its latest defeat in all too familiar fashion last Saturday in the squad's 38-0 drumming at the hands of Alabama.
The Crimson Tide scored on their third offensive play of the game when a Bulldogs defender missed a tackle to allow an 86-yard touchdown by Alabama's Zach Fletcher.
Alabama continued to roll picking off a Kevin Fant pass on MSU's first possession that put the visiting team up 14-0 early in the contest.
The latest in a string of subpar performance led to Bulldogs wide receiver Justin Jenkins questioning some of his teammates' desire to play.
Sherrill would not say if he has seen any finger pointing in the locker room, as MSU trudges to another season in which the program will finish last in the SEC Western Division.
MSU has failed to rally around its departing coach since Sherrill announced his imminent departure.
The Bulldogs have been outscored 125-30 since Sherrill went public with his intentions to retire on Oct. 17.
MSU has allowed 1,364 yards of offense in the last three games and 64 first downs, while the team has only produced 751 yards and 37 first downs in that time span.
It was hard to imagine this kind of drop off for MSU three years ago.
The Bulldogs were the winningest program in the SEC from 1997 to 2000. The program posted a 33-15 record in that span and played in the SEC Championship (1998), Cotton Bowl (1998), Peach Bowl (1999) and Independence Bowl (2000).
With three games left on the schedule, Sherrill needs just one more win to secure a winning record as MSU's coach. He currently holds a 75-72-2 mark, making him the winningest and losingest head coach in Bulldogs' history.
But Sherrill will not focus on himself as the Bulldogs wrap up another disappointing season.