MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Former all-pro and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann made a special appearance at Mississippi State’s Wednesday football practice, and addressed the team following the near-two hour workout.
Theismann, who developed a close friendship with MSU head football coach Sylvester Croom when the two were in the National Football League, now resides in Memphis, site of Saturday’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Theismann told the Bulldogs to relish the moment of their first post-season bowl game in six years and cherish the friendships built during their college football careers.
For State, it was its final practice at the Rhodes College, the team’s practice home since arriving in the Bluff City. MSU will practice Thursday at Memphis University School, on an artificial turf similar to what the team will find in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Maybe more importantly, that private high school stadium has lights for the late-afternoon drill. State will conclude its pre-bowl practice work with a short walk-through on the game field Friday.
Croom addressed the media Wednesday at his first formal bowl press conference. He praised those individuals running the Liberty Bowl.
“I can’t imagine the week going any better for us,” Croom said. “The things the bowl has sponsored have been great for our players. This will be something they remember always.”
The team was able to take advantage of some of those events Wednesday night. Both teams were treated to a meal and complimentary video game opportunities at Jillian’s in downtown Memphis. The Bulldogs and Knights then made the short stroll across Beale Street to the FedEx Forum and were treated to a National Basketball Association game between the homestanding Grizzlies and the New Orleans Hornets.
An awards luncheon and another press conference featuring selected players and the two teams’ offensive and defensive coordinators will highlight Thursday’s schedule.