Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen joined the rest of the league coaches on the SEC Teleconference on Wednesday.
Here is a transcript of Mullen’s time on the call:
Mullen: “During the bye week we’re trying to get some rest and let those middle guys continue to develop so they can contribute to more as the season continues to wrap on down the stretch here for us. We’re working hard at the bye week with that.
“It’s an interesting bye week because it’s kind of a bye week with a long extended game prep week and a bye week combined. We have the short week next week having to play on Thursday night against Missouri. For us, we’re working a little bit of combo-ing game prep and development as the week goes on for the bye week.”
When you were at Florida, what do you remember about your first time in Jacksonville for that rivalry game with Georgia?
Mullen: “It was really cool. The biggest thing for me was coming over that bridge. We stayed at at the Marriott and Sawgrass and it was a great area to stay. When you come into Jacksonville, you come over the bridge and there’s traffic everywhere. When you get to the top of the bridge and start coming down the other end, you see all the fans outside.
“That was a pretty cool experience coming into a game like that and seeing that as you’re pulling up to the stadium.”
When you stayed at Sawgrass, any chance you got to play golf?
Mullen: “No. We did when we played at the Gator Bowl though. We stayed there when we played against Michigan there a few years ago. They were nice enough to take the staff out the day before the game. We went out the day before the game and we all got to play 17.”
What were the pros and cons when you were approached about playing a Thursday night game?
Mullen: “The pros with only having one bye week this year, the pro is you almost get two bye weekends if you spread it out that way. It’s a little different deal so that’s kind of the advantage of it. You almost get two bye weekends for our kids to get some time off and rest in between games even though it does take away a little bit of the bye week in itself. But I thought it was a good deal for us to spread out and almost create two bye weeks for our guys.
“The only problem is the start time. Usually when you play a Thursday night game, I don’t know why it’s starting so late. Most Thursday night games I think start at 6:30. Every time we’ve done that before it started at 6:30, not at 8:15. You might say it’s only an hour and 45 minutes later but our kids have got school Friday morning. They’re students and there’s a big difference in getting home at 2:30 or 4:15 when you have school the next morning.”
What makes Derrick Henry and Leonard Fournette so special?
Mullen: “I’ve faced Leonard more than I’ve faced Derrick Henry. We haven’t played him so far this year. But both of them as young guys, obviously they’ve got unbelievable potential and talent with size, speed and running ability.
“I think you’re seeing them do a nice job of developing along in their career. I think both were five-star player guys. Just because you’re a five-star in high school doesn’t mean you’re a five-star in college. You’re still going to have to develop and work.
“From what I’ve seen on Derrick Henry so far, I haven’t watched a lot of film on him, but just in catching highlights here and there it looks like he’s done that. Leonard has certainly progressed from Year 1 to Year 2 in his ability as a running back and reading holes.”
What did you shoot on 17 at Sawgrass?
Mullen: “We only got to play three balls. I did par one of my three balls.”