Mullen Addresses Media In Weekly Press Conference

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Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen
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STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen holds his weekly press conference Monday afternoon in the Bryan Athletic Administration Building. Free on-demand video of each week's press conference will be posted in the story rotation (main and football pages only) on


Dan Mullen Press Conference Transcript - 9/17/12

Opening Statement

"We'll get back to practice today and just clean up the things that we have to clean up. We also will just review the last game. There were opportunities to do things better-a lot of moments where we could've really seized momentum on both sides but we didn't.  But I am very proud of our guys for finishing the game the way that we did and finding a way to win.  It feels pretty good to be 3-0.  And that's the great thing. I think it's a little easier to learn when you're looking at your mistakes after a win instead of after a loss. This is because after a loss, you're wondering what could've happened.  But when you're looking at a win, you feel good about that win, but you also know that you have to be better.  I have to do things better, and the work part of it will be a little tougher on them too because of coming off of the win.  This week's game is obviously a big game for us. You want be on a positive note going into a bye-week.  With our guys, that's always a big stress because we you don't get to play for 14 days, and you want to make sure that you're leaving on a positive note.  We only have five more opportunities to play home games this year.  So we want to make sure that we play up to the best of our ability for our fan base.  We've always talked about how important it is to win our home games, so it's a critical game for us and we want to continue to improve.  You talk about what type of team you want to be, so you have to continue to improve as the season goes on.  The season will start to peak in November, so we need to take a step forward and improve in this week's game against South Alabama. They're a tough team being a newer program.  They have a lot of similarities with the team that we played last week-a very similar offensive system.  They're going to try to spread you out and run the football.  Defensively, they're pretty stout.  They've given up 300 yards a game-a very sound defensive team and they play hard.  That's what you see when you watch them on film. It will be a very challenging game and we need our fans to come out and support us and give us that great home field advantage that we have here in Starkville."

On Concern of Dropped Passes

"To me, it's a focus issue.  As a group, it's focus and confidence and we only get that in practice.  I think in practice sometimes, guys can go in and just assume they're going to catch a ball.  They take their eyes off it. Even in drills when working on something else, they may feel that catching is just a part of it.  You can't be that way. You have to have complete focus when catching the football.  If you do that in drills, you'll do it that same way in the game and you're going to catch everything. To me, it's just a point of emphasis that we can just get to our guys.  If you look a tour drops, a lot of them are looking to try to go and make something happen after the catch.  Then they drop the ball. And that comes down to just pure focus and that's something that we'll do today in practice."

On Chad Bumphis' Progression

"You want your seniors to play their best football and I think that he's playing the best football of his career.  Chad is the guy that had a lot of success as a freshman, and I think he's felt the pressure of being a guy that makes the big plays for us throughout the years. I think now he has the confidence on the field-he's playing fast. And he has a good, supporting crew around him.  I feel that has taken the pressure off of him and allowed him to play at a pretty high level.  I don't believe he thinks he has to make the big play-he wants to make the big play. I think having that pressure off of him has allowed him to perform a little better."

On program expectations

"The expectations for our program are good teaching for our guys.  We expect big things and there is a lot of excitement among our fan base.  My twitter used to explode from the excitement of our fans. And I want it to be exciting!  I do want it to be something that is expected of this program-being a top 25 national program year in and year out."


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