Mullen: Bulldogs Focused; Plus, Banks, Lawrence Videos

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | The official Gator Bowl press conference was held this morning, which means we got to speak with both Northwestern and Mississippi State people. So let’s here from the Bulldogs.

We’ll start with head coach Dan Mullen, then I’ve got some videos below of cornerback Johnthan Banks and linebacker Cam Lawrence.

Do you worry about motivation the way the season ended?

“To be honest it was so long ago. For us, you look at the season as a whole. I think our guys are pretty motivated to finish it off the right way. We have had a lot of big wins this year and some tough losses this year. I think our guys want to go finish off the season the right way and send these seniors out winning a bowl championship.”

On Northwestern’s receivers being good blockers:

“They are great blockers. Receivers turn an 8-yard run into a 60-yard run. Their guys do a great job of that. They also have a lot of speed out there on the perimeter.”

How hard is to prepare for two different styles of QBs?

“They don’t change their offense when the other quarterback comes in. I think it’s more of an emphasis on what they do. It goes to a little bit more of a pass emphasis over a run emphasis when the other quarterback comes in the game.”

On smallish Northwestern tailback Venric Mark:

LaDarius Perkins is not a huge guy but plays pretty physical inside and Mark kind of does the same thing for him. He can do it all. He’s the complete back, even though he might not be the big 215-pound bruising back.”

On the team’s focus this year versus two years ago here:

“I think our focus has been better this week than it was two years ago, overall focus while we’ve been at practice. But our coaches and seniors have understood that and done a great job of keeping that attention of our team – when it’s time to work, we work.”

I am the online content coordinator for I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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