Mullen: On Tobias Smith, the Secondary & Defending GT

Dan Mullen just got done with his turn on the weekly SEC coaches’ teleconference. So here’s what he had to say.

• On the status of OL Tobias Smith: “There’s a really good chance he’ll be playing this week.” Smith, the projected starter at right guard during preseason camp, has been out all season with an ankle injury. He’s listed as second on the depth chart this week behind Craig Jenkins.

• On if there will be any changes in the secondary: “No. We’re going to roll some guys through and do what we’ve been doing.” There’s been talk this week of left cornerback Damein Anderson being replaced as starter, and defensive coordinator Carl Torbush told me yesterday, “We’ve opened it up. Right now, we’re going to evaluate where we are and that’s basically all of them, especially at that position. … We’ll figure out who deserves to be the starter on Saturday.” LSU’s Jordan Jefferson passed for a career-high 233 yards against State.

• On MSU’s improved run defense since Auburn: “We’ve put our guys in a better position to make plays, but I think they have also really embraced that. And I think they were a little embarrassed by that game, and they wanted to come out and prove that’s not Mississippi State football.”

• On what his players can learn from the LSU loss: “That’s one thing we’re doing as a football program as a whole, learning how to win. When you get in those games, it’s that belief of when you’re in the Southeastern Conference, you’re going to be in the football game every single week, and it’s going to be a battle every single week.”

• On preparing for Georgia Tech’s offense: “A lot of times we’ll play a team where there’s crossover, so when there’s crossover, we’ll practice against each other, good guys against good guys so we get fast reps. This week our scout team has to just do an amazing job of trying to replicate their offense.”