STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen holds his weekly press conference Monday afternoons in the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex. Free on-demand video of each week's press conference will be posted in the story rotation (main and football pages only) on HailState.com, along with an associated transcript.
Press Conference Transcript - 9/2/13
(Courtesy of David Murray)
“We’re excited for the home opener this week. It’s great to get back and play at home. There’s just such an excited feel on campus when you get to play that first game. You get out there in the Junction, all the tents are up, all that stuff. You can feel that excitement. In my Friday routine I usually try to go for a jog around campus on Friday and feel that energy and excitement on campus.”
“Obviously it will be a tough opponent with Alcorn State, they have the guts and confidence, last week a huge win over Edwin Waters, but put up a lot of points, played some really good defense. They always are going to have great athletes, we played them here a couple of years ago and they battled us in a real tough deal with a lot of great athletes on the field, made a bunch of big plays. And the fact that it’s in-state game, I always think that makes it a lot of fun. I mean for a lot of their kids, this is their Super Bowl.”
We talk about playing with a chip on our shoulder, I know our guys are going to play with a chip on their shoulder this week because I don’t think they’re pleased with their overall performance. I think they’re pleased with a lot of things we did last week but not overall. (And) There are a lot of kids on their team with a chip on their shoulder saying hey, I want to show what I can do against a SEC school. So their guys are going to come in with that chip, wanting to plays in this big environment that they’re going to be in. It should be a neat game. The in-state games, the fact that a lot of people come to the game, both sides of the ball know people on the other sides of the ball. It’s guys that played against each other and guys that played with each other in high school and growing up, that are on different teams. A lot of fans that come, our fans from their home town know guys on Alcorn’s team and there’s Alcorn fans coming up, they’re going to know guys on our team from their home town. So I think that in-state aspect of the rivalry makes it kind of a neat deal.”
“So we’re excited for it, I know we’re going to get a great week of practice in and get some things improved on from last week and get ready to go."
Can you update Tyler Russell and Jay Hughes? “Injuries, if you play a big, physical game like that against a top team you’re going to be a banged-up team.”
“I’d say Tyler is going to be doubtful for this week. We’ll see at the end of the week, just the concussion from that game. We don’t expect him to practice this week, if he might be cleared for the game we’ll make that decision if he is cleared for the game whether he plays.”
“Jay Hughes has a torn achilles, he’s going to have surgery and he’s going to be out for the whole year. Which is a huge loss for us, not just as a great player but as one of the top leaders on our team and really to me a face of the program-type guy. Maybe not in popularity cultures but there’s somebody you want to put up that really is what our program is all about, is Jay Hughes. So that’s a huge loss for us.”
“Ferlando Bohanna, a linebacker with a concussion still doubtful for this week. Who else is really banged-up, they just went through it with me, there’s a long list of guys. Justin Malone, he’ll be doubtful for this week at the line position. Jamerson Love is more questionable I think. They said he has a chance to be ready for Saturday for the game. Matt Wells came back in, he’s going to be fine to go. A couple of other guys with bumps and bruises but significant injury-wise that’s really it. The report always get longer but the significant ones are the ones that are important.”
What is the concussion process? “They have a baseline, they do concussion testing and everyone on the team gets kind-of tested on it, baseline before the season starts. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done it in a while, I probably should do it just to see. They said it’s really hard to pass if you’re healthy, you know what I mean? So it’s a tough deal.”
“But we’re always going to be extra-cautious with that stuff. And one of the things too, you have to space out the testing. So both of those guys aren’t going to be cleared to practice this week. And we probably won’t test them, because you only test them every couple of days. You can’t test them that often, because if they don’t pass the test you want to give them a couple of days to make sure that you’re not getting a false test back. So it will be something we’ll probably test those guys late in the week, Thursday or Friday, to see where they’re at and see if they’re going to be able to dress.”
“The thing with both of those guys, is being veteran players if they are cleared for the game you make a determination at that point how much they play, or if they play even without having practiced during the week.”