Dan Mullen Press Conference: Auburn’s Offense, JSU Carryover, Devon Bell

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

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This week’s game: Auburn (0-1, 0-0 SEC) at MSU (1-0, 0-0), Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown)

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Dan Mullen held his weekly press conference this afternoon to kick off Auburn week. It’ll be the SEC opener for MSU, which has lost four in a row in this series. It can’t be overstated how big this game is not only for the Bulldogs’ season hopes, but for Mullen’s bona fides as a coach. Let’s hit some highlights from today’s chat, and I’ll have some videos here in a bit.

• Injury report: As expected, tight end Malcolm Johnson (pectoral) is out again this week, and reserve offensive lineman Templeton Hardy (ankle) has been upgraded to probable.

• On Auburn’s offense in the Tigers’ 26-29 loss to No. 14 Clemson: “You have one game to watch of them to see what they are. I don’t know what they held back. They probably held a bunch back last week. … We’ll have to be prepared for the unknown in this situation.”

• On carryover from the Jackson State win to this week’s game: “The speed of the game’s going to be a little bit different this week. Auburn has a very fast defense, a very experienced defense. That adjustment will be a little bit different for our guys, but we go against a fast defense every day all through training camp.”

• On whether there are other new players he wants to get in the game this week (17 freshmen played last week): “I still want to play a lot of guys. On the offensive line, obviously Tobias (Smith) and Gabe (Jackson) will get more reps this week than they did last week. I’ve seen them play a lot of football around here, so I wanted to force-feed some guys who hadn’t.”

• On freshman kicker Devon Bell, who had four point-after kicks and missed a 42-yard field goal: “He had a really fast get-off time, kind of the juice got to him a little bit. He was fired up right there, over-strided on the kick, and his plant foot was way out of position.”

• On sixth-year senior tight end Marcus Green, who had a touchdown Saturday: “The great thing about Marcus Green, when I got here he doubted, had personal doubt in his mind in believing what we did. That’s all changed. He’s an all-in guy in our program.”

Click here to read the all new Inside Mississippi State Sports Blog from Brad Locke.