We had a robust chat with Dan Mullen today on the SEC coaches teleconference. He talked about Troy, sure, but he was also asked about the Pat Forde report, Will Redmond and P.J. Jones‘ suspension. To the highlights!
• On whether he was aware of the alleged NCAA violations being committed by an MSU booster (who has since been disassociated by the school): “The NCAA is doing their work on that and we’re not commenting on any of that stuff at this time.”
• On whether Redmond will travel with the team to Troy: “We meet on our travel list this afternoon. For us, we haven’t looked at all the freshmen. He hasn’t dressed, but a lot of our freshmen haven’t. I don’t know if the plans are at this point to take all our guys that we have that haven’t dressed yet as freshmen and not redshirt some of those guy. We’ve been able to stay fairly healthy, and a lot of that is a big dictator in who plays and doesn’t play for us. I don’t think – Will hasn’t dressed yet for a game, but I think only a couple of freshmen have for us, true freshmen.”
(Five true freshmen have played for MSU thus far.)
• On whether Jones, a sophomore defensive lineman from Tupelo, will travel to Troy: “He’s still on an indefinite suspension with the team, but we’ll make that announcement on Saturday of if he’ll be there or not.” Jones has been benched the first two games for an unspecified violation of team rules.
• On how close MSU is to finding its identity: “I don’t think that we’re there yet but I do think we’re getting closer. We wanted to be a balanced team, we wanted to be able to mix up run and pass wise on the offensive side of the ball and execute cleanly. I think we’re getting close that way. Defensively, we want to play a lot of guys. That personality, to me, is what I was hoping this team to have, is starting to really come out.”
• On beating Auburn and starting 1-0 in SEC play: “In my first three years, after Week 1 you’ve been trying to claw your way back up and dig out of a hole. For us it’s huge to be on the other side of it right now.”
• On staying focused against the next couple of opponents (Troy and South Alabama): “When you take your foot off the gas or you take steps back at all during a season, you slow your progress. And obviously, as any team wants to do, if you want to be a great football team, you’re continually improving and really peaking when you get into November. That’s when you’re playing your best football.”