What Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said in his Monday press conference

Mississippi State kicks off its season against Charleston Southern on Saturday with Nick Fitzgerald returning under center for the Bulldogs. There remain some question marks in Starkville for a team that finished 6-7 a year ago but dominated Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl and went on to win a bowl game.

Dan Mullen came to the podium on Monday to address all the outstanding injuries as well as the team’s first opponent.

What head coach Dan Mullen said:

  • I know we’ve got such a large alumni base and family in southeast Texas and Louisiana and all through there. When that stuff happens it kind of puts our football into reality. Our prayers with all the people who are suffering through that and the storm right now
  • The extra time we had alotted for training camp really cut down on injuries and was a big help for player safety issues for us.
  • Big challenge with the team coming in. First year head coach and new staff so there is nothing to watch. You can certainly try to piece together what they might do especially with a team as talented as they are.
  • They are a challenge being an option oriented offense but they throw the ball very well out of that option oriented offense…a very experienced group that’s used to winning, you know they’ve won two straight conference titles looking for a third in a row, a playoff level team, a top-15 level team actually.
  • Injury report hasn’t changed from last week.
  • I want to see how they (the freshmen) handle this week of practice. I know Willie Gay is in the rotation for us, Tucker Day is competing to go play. There are a couple guys who are going to have that opportunity to go play right away.
  • Different team, different everything. They were a good team. That’s on the coaches to make sure we transition and put everyone in position to make plays. I haven’t really thought much of it.
  • It’s in-house on offense but everybody else on the staff is new. Very very few people were retained especially on the defensive side of the ball.  Majority it’s a whole new coaching staff, that’s what always makes it a challenge.
  • No decision yet on JUCO DE Chauncy Rivers eligibility, hopes to know something this week.
  • You’ve got to be very gap sound against the option and defend every phase of it, the dive the quarterback and the pitch. To me what makes them a little different is they throw the ball and they’re not your prototypical wishbone team. You’re not committing everybody to stop the run and then try to defend the play-action, they can throw the ball pretty efficiently.
  • He knows what to expect, how to prepare for game week and what it’s going to entail. Coming in, getting ready for the game, the routine, the preparation, I think that’s the big advantage all of those different things, I think that’s the big advantage you have over last year.
  • One of the things is the level of how hard our guys play. That’s one of the most important things to me is the effort with which they give and also just how we’re fitting everything. The overall understanding of guys within the scheme just what they’re doing and what the expectations of them are, I’ve been really pleased with that.
  • (Donald Gray) has really stepped up as a leader. He’s a guy who has always had a good work ethic since he’s been here but really coming into that final season that desperateness that he has shown and how hard he has worked.

The post What Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said in his Monday press conference appeared first on SEC Country.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.