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Playin' Nice With McNeese State

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The Cowboys seem kind of short on the #BlogLife, so McNeese Sports Information Director Matthew Bonnette (brother of LSU's Michael) gave us some scoop on the Cowboys.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

1. What can you tell us the about what the Cowboys will be running this year in terms of offensive and defensive schemes?

Offensively, we run a 1-back set with three wide and an tight end. We'll try to establish the run first. Defensively, we run a 4-2-5 scheme.

2. Matt Viator's had a lot of success at McNeese, and the Cowboys have put some scares into FBS teams in the past. What do you think the team's attitude is coming into this week against the state's flagship program?

The team is excited. It's a chance of a lifetime for them to be able to play in a venue like Tiger Stadium. Obviously they want to go in and play the best they can, especially since it will be in front of a lot of friends and family. We played in front of 91,000 at Nebraska last year, but Death Valley is a different story. To have 102,000 screaming cajuns in there will be something they've never experienced before. I think playing big programs in the past has helped prepare the team for big games, but I don't think anything can prepare them for Tiger Stadium. But there's no doubt they'll be hyped up and ready to play though. Playing your flagship school doesn't happen too often in this sport and at our level.

3. Daniel Sams was a fairly heralded transfer out of Kansas State. Is he expected to have the starting QB job to himself this year?

Sams will be the starter this year. He came to McNeese from Kansas State with a thumb injury that was repaired. He didn't throw a pass here until mid-August of last year so he was behind a bit. He was never able to really grip the ball like he wanted to because of the injury. Against SFA, he tore the ligament in his thumb which forced him to miss the rest of that game as well as most of the SLU contest and all of Lamar. We went on to lose all three of those games. He had successful surgery in the offseason and now he's gripping and throwing the ball better than he ever has.

4. Any other players LSU fans should be on the lookout for?

We have a great stable of running backs. Ryan Ross, a true freshman last year, was called in to break his redshirt because of injuries and was the top RB on the team. Senior Derrick Milton transferred in from Mississippi State prior to last season. Sophomore wide receiver Kent Shelby is a player that goes up for the ball no matter where it is. Sophomore DL Isaiah Golden is a transfer from Texas A&M who started as a true freshman two seasons ago for the Aggies. DB Brent Spikes is a preseason All-American who has a pop to his hitting. He led the team in tackles and interceptions last season.

5. Finally, help us clear it up -- is it pronounced "Mick-Neese" or "MACK-Neese?"

Haha!!!! Always get that one. Technically it's "Mack" because it's named after John McNeese and he pronounced his name "Mack-neese." But it's evolved to Mick. I say Mack and McNeese people say Mack.