ORANGEBURG --When S.C. State coach Buddy Pough looks at 16th-ranked and defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech, he sees a team and environment at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta that combine all of the difficulties of the past matchups and more.
"Tough, tougher," Pough said of Saturday's game, set for a 1 p.m. kickoff. "Last year, we were prepared for Grambling. Grambling was a team that in some circles we were considered as being a favorite against last year, whereas I don't think very many people pick us to be the favorite in this game. It's a tough opener. It's kind of similar to when we went to maybe Air Force, our first time playing a (Football Bowl Subdivision) team. Not quite the same as Central Florida, but similar. Add to the fact that it's a day game. I think that makes it a little bit of a harder season opener for us. I think it's going to be a game where we will be tested as much as we've been tested the time we've been here."
For the Bulldogs to put themselves in position to possibly upset the Yellow Jackets, Pough said they must slow down quarterback Josh Nesbitt. At 6-1, 218, Nesbitt possesses physical talents Pough believes exceed some of the other dual-threat quarterback he has faced in the past.
Mississippi coach Houston Nutt said starting defensive end Kentrell Lockett is not practicing because of a recurring heart condition.
Lockett is undergoing tests to diagnose the problem. Nutt says Lockett's heart was "racing" on Saturday, forcing him to leave practice early.
The third-year coach says Lockett had a similar heart issue two years ago, but was cleared to play. He expects to learn more about Lockett's health today. The senior finished third on the team with 10 tackles for a loss and five sacks in 2009.