By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – At this point in preseason camp, the initial enthusiasm of being back on the field can start to evaporate in the Mississippi heat.
Mississippi State is having to deal with that. Following Wednesday’s practice – MSU’s eighth in seven days – coach Dan Mullen noticed a bit of a drop-off.
Mullen said he got “annoyed” with his team about two-thirds of the way through the session.
“As it gets hot, it’s a hot day, you’re full pads, you’ve been out there for awhile,” he said. “I think you lose focus; as soon as you lose focus, you stop giving great effort, then execution gets sloppy.”
MSU had held its first two-a-day practice Tuesday and will have another double session today. With the season opener at Memphis three weeks away, the crucible of preseason camp is when Mullen expects his players to develop the mental toughness he tries so hard to instill.
He sees it from the veterans, specifically citing tailback Vick Ballard, cornerback Johnthan Banks, safety Charles Mitchell and center Quentin Saulsberry on Wednesday. It’s the younger players who are having the tougher time fighting through.
Mullen did like the way the team bounced back and finished the day, which was focused on installation, a process that’s nearly complete.
“I was happy with how our guys were able to pull it together, sync it up and finish strong.”