By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State will conclude its final bowl prep in Starkville today before taking a five day break for Christmas.
The Bulldogs wrapped ups its seventh practice Thursday afternoon and second with the starters back taking the majority of the reps. The game plan for the Liberty Bowl against Rice is nearly in place with a few final tweaks to be added this morning.
“We’ve gotten into game plan mode,” said MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins. “We’re working the game plan on defense and the older guys are getting back into the rhythm. We’ve tried to treat it like a regular game week and we’re getting ready to play a game. We’ll get a little time off and do the same thing again. When we leave here we want to be game ready.”
MSU will hold five more practices in Memphis beginning Dec. 26 and leading up to the bowl game on New Year’s Eve.
Although the Bulldogs have made it to four consecutive bowls head coach Dan Mullen still sees enthusiasm about advancing to the postseason.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to be here,” Mullen said. “Our guys are happy to be out here playing football and having fun. We ended the year on a positive note and hopefully we’ll end it on a real positive note on New Year’s Eve. The guys just enjoy playing football and this is a fun time for them.”
Eulls embraces move
Kaleb Eulls was a two-year starter at defensive end for the Bulldogs but slid inside to tackle this fall.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder continued his string of starts this year as well recording 23 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry. Eulls has started all 38 games of his career
“It was a situation where we were just trying to get the best four guys on the field and he is one of them,” said defensive line coach David Turner. “I think with his size and strength, he’s a pretty good technician. It was a smooth transition for him. It was rough at first in the spring but by the end of spring you could tell a big difference.
“He’s getting more comfortable and has been a valuable asset. He’s still played some end for us and has been able to handle that. He’s been our rock solid guy inside.”
Senior defensive end Denico Autry confirmed that he has accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl on Jan. 11 in Charleston, S.C.
In two seasons in Starkville, the former All-American at East Mississippi Community College has notched 72 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.