There are several similarities between Oklahoma State's Glenn Spencer and Mississippi State's Geoff Collins, the two defensive coordinators in the matchup between the Cowboys and Bulldogs Saturday at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Both were promoted to their new post for the 2013 season after coaching linebackers and serving as the co-defensive coordinator in 2012. Both are originally from Georgia.
And both were on the same Georgia Tech staff in 2001. Spencer was the running backs coach, while Collins was a graduate assistant.
Spencer described Collins as young, energetic, innovative and a good motivator. And he imagines Collins' transition to the full-time coordinator role has mirrored his own in a lot of ways.
“Probably like me, he didn't have to get to know the kids any more,” Spencer said of Collins. “But he's in charge now, and he can use the same terminology they were using. So I'm sure he's going to implement his own touch on things like I have, too.
“He was afforded, like I was, (the opportunity) to be a part of their defense last year, watch all that film and know the corrections they need to make and maybe see places where he thought they could improve. And then he was given the reins to be able to do it.”
DAK PRESCOTT: MISSISSIPPI STATE'S VERSION OF J.W. WALSH
Here's a scenario: A redshirt freshman backup quarterback enters the game in short-yardage and red-zone situations, ready to use his dual-threat skills in a package built just for him.
The description sure sounds like J.W. Walsh's role for Oklahoma State down the stretch last season. But that's also the way Mississippi State used backup Dak Prescott in 2012 — as a change-up option to starter Tyler Russell, a prostyle quarterback. Prescott tallied four rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns last season, to go with 194 passing yards and 110 rushing yards.
Unlike OSU coach Mike Gundy, who suggested Walsh and Clint Chelf may form more of a two-quarterback system Saturday against the Bulldogs, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said at his Monday press conference that Prescott's job will largely stay the same against OSU.