MSU coach Dan Mullen jumped on the SEC coaches teleconference a few minutes ago. He had some good news on tailback LaDarius Perkins and expressed confidence in his offensive tackles. Plenty of good tid-bits here, and so I give you the entire transcript. Enjoy.
“This is the last home game for this senior class. It’s the first recruiting class I brought in. These guys meant a lot to us throughout the years, done a lot, leaving as one of the more successful classes in school history. It’s a great day there, last opportunity to play at home. I know it’ll be emotional for all those kids and their families with the last home game. And on top of it, having it be such a big game for us. It should be a great day on Saturday.”
Key to Tyler Russell’s progression this year:
“He’s just grown up a lot. Tyler came in and redshirted as freshman. You learn, but you kind of go through a little bit of knowing that you’re redshirting. Came back the next year and played a little bit, kind of got a taste of it. His sophomore year he was on the field and he realized how unprepared he was and what the commitment you need to be is. He understood that, really worked through the offseason to make himself prepared, ready to play every single week in the game.”
Anything specific he’s really improved on this year:
“Just his understanding of what’s going on on the field. Tyler’s always been a guy, he can throw the football, he’ll stand in the pocket, he’s got a lot of toughness. But he really just understands not just our offense, but what defenses are doing to try to stop us, and that allows him to make quicker decisions.”
Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson having good year without some key weapons:
“He’s a great quarterback. They have very solid receivers, and he’s going to put the ball where it needs to be to be caught. He makes great decisions, he gets the ball out of his hands, and he’s very accurate getting the ball to those receivers. Even though they lost a lot of talent at receiver, he’s still a great quarterback putting the ball exactly where it needs to be and giving their guys chances to make plays.”
Have struggles versus Arkansas been due in part to looking ahead to the Egg Bowl?
“No. Last year we played the game, and Tyler Wilson had a career day against us, We lost in double-overtime the year before against a good team. Since I’ve been here they’ve been a pretty good team the last couple of years. Started this season as a top-10 football team, so we know they have a lot of talent on the roster, and they’ve been through some ups and downs, but we have to expect a top-10 team coming into play us this week.”
On whether he plans to get Nick Griffin and Josh Robinson more involved in running back rotation even with LaDarius Perkins back on the field:
“A lot of that depends on Perkins’ health, because he’s our guy. But you look at Nick and how he’s played and Josh has done some nice things. There’s more confidence from the coaching staff in those guys going in there, so I don’t know if we’ll have a set plan to get him in a lot more but I do know that we’re more confident putting him in the game within the rotation.”
On tackles Charles Siddoway and Blaine Clausell:
“I thought they actually did an excellent job against LSU. They each got beat once in the game for sacks and they were critical sacks, which was the issue. But against the talent that we were playing in that game, I thought they held up pretty well during the course of that football game.”
On LaDarius Perkins’ status and the season he’s had this year:
“He’s had a really good season for us, but you expect that with an older guy coming in. He waited his turn. He was a role player and that rotating back for the last two years and now he gets to come in and be the guy. So, he’s had a really good year for us. He had a great practice yesterday, so we expect him to play on Saturday.”
Big to get him back?
“I think it helps, just with the confidence. A lot of the older guys have played together for a while and that’s their guy in the huddle. They’ve seen the improvement our young backs have made and I think they believe in them and the talent those guys have, but when you get that starter in the game and you get your guy in the game, it always boosts you a little bit more.”