September 7, 2012

One last chance against Auburn

Chad Bumphis remembers Sept. 10, 2011 vividly.

That day the Mississippi State wide receiver sat on the bus outside Jordan-Hare Stadium in tears, dejected by the Bulldogs heartbreaking loss to Auburn on the final play of the game when they were stopped inches away from the goal line.

Two words were echoing through Bumphis' mind as the bus began the trek back to Starkville, "never again".

In fact, Bumphis was already thinking towards this weekend's rematch with the Tigers when he placed a phone call to MSU strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis that afternoon.

"The first thing I did once I showered and got on the bus was I called coach Balis," Bumphis said. "I was so hurt. I was crying. I asked Coach Balis what happened. As hard as we work in the offseason there is no reason we should be losing games that close. He just told me to keep working and everything would come together."

Bumphis and the Bulldogs hope that will be the case as they take the field against Auburn on Saturday at 11 a.m. However, Bumphis understands that a victory will not come easily against the Tigers.

"They are a good team and have got athletes all over the field," Bumphis said. "We've got to go out, compete and execute. It's really big for me. I've never beat them. Actually there's one guy on their team, Darren Bates, we talk all the time. He played at Olive Branch and I've never beaten him before in my life. We've been playing since the ninth grade. We've been talking and I think it's time that we change that."

The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder headlines a veteran receiver group for State that features four seniors.



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