Mullen talks Razorbacks

Dan Mullen is 3-3 against Arkansas having won three straight. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Dan Mullen is 3-3 against Arkansas having won three straight. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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:

Opening comment:

Mullen: “This is a big game for our team. Obviously it’s a real tough place to go on the road and play against Arkansas. We haven’t been to Fayetteville. The last couple of times that we’ve played them has been in Little Rock. It’s kind of a new environment our guys are going into for the first time against an excellent football team.

We need to bounce back, come out there and execute at a higher level and make more plays than we made last week. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves an opportunity to win.”

How is Dak Prescott doing physically after getting sacked nine times last week and how did he handle it?

Mullen: “The one thing you saw is that he never was flustered during the course of the game. That’s the experience that he has as an older, veteran player. When things are going good he’s really calm and when things are not going good he’s calm.

He understands the game and understands what he has to do whether we’re up or down or it’s coming down to the wire. Whatever it is, he just handles those situations so well.”

Arkansas only had eight sacks on the year going into LSU and revived to get five. How big a concern is the Razorbacks’ pass rush?

Mullen: “They’ve got excellent players on the defensive line. Everybody in the SEC has great d-linemen and that’s always a huge factor.”

You’ve had some injuries at defensive back and Arkansas has had them at receiver. What’s the matchup going to be like there?

Mullen: “One of the things you’ve really seen from both sides is you could put all the injuries up and you wouldn’t think those would be the strengths of the team. (Arkansas) is really throwing the ball at a high level. I think the quarterback (Brandon Allen) is doing a great job of distributing the ball to different guys. When you’re not focusing on getting the ball to just one guy you’re able to overcome any injury situation because he’s just taking what the defense is going to give him.

If you look at our secondary and say our top two guys are going to be out for the season, what’s going to happen? But I think our young guys have stepped up and have been able to make plays and continue to improve from one week to the next.

It’ll be a good match-up. They obviously like to throw the ball a lot more than they have in the past.”

Is there something to having to regroup the team physically after playing Alabama?

Mullen: “No. We play them late in the season. Once you get to this point in the season you’re regrouping after every game you play because guys are beat up and bruised up. I don’t think it affects one team you play more than another.”

How different is Arkansas than they were when you played them a year ago?

Mullen: “They are different schematically. They throw the ball a lot more than a year ago. But I thought they were an excellent team when we played them here last year and I think they’re an excellent team now. I think Bret (Bielema) has done a good job.

I think when we played them a little earlier in the year last year and you could see they were getting ready to turn the corner maybe. They were all buying into what he was trying to build into the program with the toughness and you can see they’ve had some success at the end of last season and so far this season.”

What are your thoughts on the Iron Bowl since you’ve played both Alabama and Auburn this year?

Mullen: “Anytime you have a rivalry game it just changes everything that’s going on. I think Auburn has kind of found a little bit more of their identity for this year and a little more rhythm over the last couple of games it seems like. Alabama obviously has their identity for the year.

Anytime you have a rivalry it’s going to be a great match-up.”

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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