Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen joined the rest of the league’s head coaches on the SEC coaches’ teleconference to talk about the Bulldogs’ upcoming game against Ole Miss
Here is a transcript of Mullen’s time on the call…
Mullen: “It’s a big game for us this week. It’s the biggest game of the year. It’s rivalry week. The game means so much to everybody within the state. You’re talking about a neighbor versus neighbor type of game and bragging rights for the rest of the year.
“It’s obviously the biggest game of the year for us. Our guys have prepared well all year. We’ve had good leadership throughout the year that’s done a great job for us. We’ll need that in a very tough environment playing against an excellent football team on the road on Saturday.”
Can you talk about your seniors playing in their final regular season game?
Mullen: “They’re a great group. Our senior day was last Saturday and one of the things that you kept seeing was guy after guy running out onto the field that has much such a huge impact to this program.
“It might not be a senior class filled with all of these superstar football players but there’s so many really, really good players that have contributed so much to help bring this program to the level we’re at now and really change the culture and the future here at Mississippi State.”
How difficult has the SEC West been this year?
Mullen: “It’s hard to say. No division in college football has ever been as tough as the West this year. You have seven bowl eligible teams and excellent teams from top to bottom. I think the West went undefeated in non-conference games so most of the losses are to other teams in the West. There are one or two (losses) from East crossovers.
“The SEC is obviously the top conference in college football but the west division is as good as any division in college football right now.”
What needs to happen against Ole Miss to constitute a win for Mississippi State?
Mullen: “We need to start fast because we’re on the road and seize momentum early in the game. We’re going to have to execute at a very, very high level on offense against a very aggressive, blitzing defense. We need to make some plays when we have the opportunity to make them.
“We need to protect the football on offense. On the defensive side, we have to contain them. They have some really athletic, fast players and we have to keep them inside and in front. We have to get some pressure on the quarterback and create some turnovers.”