By Brad Locke / NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mississippi State’s football team is finding a good balance of work and fun this week.
The No. 21 Bulldogs practiced outside on Monday for the first time since arriving in Jacksonville for Gator Bowl preparations – they held a session in their hotel’s ballroom on Sunday. They hit the field at the University of North Florida at 1 p.m. local time for a full-scale workout in chilly but sunny conditions.
Later, the Bulldogs visited Adventure Landing for miniature golf and go-kart riding.
“This whole week is about being able to have fun and prepare for a big-time game and do it simultaneously,” coach Dan Mullen said. “In order to take the next step for this program, we need to make sure we’re getting ready to play a really good Michigan team, but this is also a reward for what our players and fans have already accomplished this season.”
Monday’s work was mostly about getting back into a game-week groove and routine, and Mullen was mostly pleased with what he saw.
“When you take a little break, you’re a little rusty, a little bit sloppy on some things,” he said, “but the execution of the game plan was fine.”
Today’s schedule will be flipped, with MSU going to the Outback Steakhouse Player Party at Jacksonville Beach after lunch before practicing at 5.
The game is Saturday.
Plenty of tickets left
• An MSU official said Monday that about 700 of MSU’s original ticket allotment remained. The school was given 12,500 tickets and then asked for an additional 1,500.
The Gator Bowl said several days ago it was expecting a sellout on Saturday. EverBank Field has a capacity of 77,000.