MSU Freshmen Learning to ‘Go Hard’

Mississippi State’s preseason practices have reached a new level of intensity with full pads being donned this week, and that’s forcing freshmen to re-examine their definition of “going hard.”

The Bulldogs practiced this morning at South Farm and will return this afternoon on this first day of two-a-days work. Head coach Dan Mullen said the freshmen have reacted “like freshmen.”

He went on: “The funnest thing to see in freshmen is they figure out how to go hard. They think they’re going hard when they’re actually not. That’s a learning curve. You watch them covering a punt, and after the drill they’re going to think they went real hard. When you go back and watch it on tape, and they watch themselves, you can ask them, ‘Is that as fast as you can run?’ To a T, every single one of them says, ‘No.’ “

As for the entire team, Mullen gave the edge to the defense this morning. That was often the case last August, when Mullen was still trying to get his spread offense installed.

“I thought they came out, played hard, performed at a higher level,” Mullen said of the defense. “The quarterbacks were a little off today. In our offense, if the quarterbacks are gonna be off, it’s gonna be an ugly day for the offense. We’ve got to come back, clean it up this afternoon.”

This morning’s work focused more on the running game, play-action and first-down plays. This afternoon that focus will shift to the passing game and third-down plays.

Practices are now closed to media and fans.