This week's game: Jackson State (0-0) at MSU (0-0), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Net/ESPN3.com (Bob Rathbun, Tim Couch and Elizabeth Moreau)
Mississippi State has been saying what it's supposed to say this week leading up to the season opener. Players and coaches have lauded Jackson State, noting the Tigers' experience on defense and their weapons on offense.
Dan Mullen certainly talked up new starting quarterback Dedric McDonald.
"They had a great quarterback last year, but all the weapons that are around him, the experience around him, especially the O-line giving him time, those are things that are going to allow that quarterback to develop," Mullen said. "From what I saw, the guy that's coming to play, he's a redshirt senior, he's played college football and has been around a bunch. I don't think that's going to be as big a drop-off maybe as people think it will be from their guy that was obviously a great player last year."
In today's Journal I have a story about JSU and that offense, as it moves on after the Casey Therriault era (CLICK HERE). Later today I'll post a Q&A from my interview with JSU coach Rick Comegy, who is not planning on being a sacrificial lamb in Starkville tomorrow.
• Mullen's first game as a head coach was three years ago against Jackson State. The Bulldogs won that day, 45-7. Thirty-eight games later, it's going to be a different feel for Mullen today.
"You still have the first game of the season-type feeling," he said. "But the first game in a career is a very different. … I’m paranoid this week because you’re kind of out of routine. “I mean I’m going through do I have my whistle in my bag, do you have your pen ready that you need on the sidelines? You know, all of those different notes of reviewing it.
"You get nervous about that stuff, where’s the two-point chart exactly where I need to have it? By week six you’re rolling; week one? I’ll probably forget something along the way and mess something up. But the overall feeling is the excitement for the first game, where that game was different.”
• Hey, we've got a new college football page here at DJournal.com, so please bookmark it (CLICK HERE). There's a Mississippi State page, so bookmark that, too. And be sure you grab a copy of tomorrow's Journal, if for nothing else than the GameDay section that'll be inside it.
• The college football season began last night, and it was glorious. That doesn't mean it was pretty, but South Carolina took an exciting 17-13 win over Vanderbilt (CLICK HERE).
• OK, here's the rest of this weekend's SEC schedule.
–Tennessee vs. N.C. State (Atlanta), 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
–Buffalo at Georgia, 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
–Bowling Green at Florida, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
–Jacksonville State at Arkansas, 6 p.m., Arkansas PPV
–Central Arkansas at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., Ole Miss PPV
–Southeast Louisiana at Missouri, 6 p.m., Missouri PPV
–North Texas at LSU, 6 p.m., ESPNU
–Auburn vs. Clemson (Atlanta), 6 p.m., ESPNU
–Alabama vs. Michigan (Dallas), 7 p.m., ABC
–Kentucky at Louisville, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
(Note: Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech, in Shreveport, was postponed until Oct. 13 due to Hurricane Isaac.)