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.
Dan Mullen Press Conference Transcript - 10/7/13
"We get everybody back out on the field today (to) get ready for a big homecoming game. Bowling Green, obviously is a tough team. They are 5-1 right now and have won pretty convincingly over some good football teams. They know how to play in SEC stadiums. They played Florida pretty close last year so their guys are used to doing that. It will be a difficult task.
“It’s a very senior unit. If you look on the defensive side of the ball, everybody is a redshirt junior. So their youngest players are redshirt juniors, and have been in the program four years. It's a very, very experienced, veteran group.
"On the defensive side of the ball they give you a lot of different looks, a lot of different pressures and come at you in a lot of different directions. It is a very opportunistic defense and creates turnovers. They are a really good football team on that side of the ball.
“Offensively they have a lot of balance. They’ve got a quarterback who can make a lot of plays with his arm. He can throw the ball all over the place and keep plays alive. They also have a talented running back.
"They are a different type of receivers than we’ve seen with a lot of big receives. They are real tall guys who can create miss-match advantages. And they have a pretty good offensive line. They are close to 500 yards a game on offense so they’re an explosive offense.
"When you match that with the experience on defense, you can see why they’re 5-1 and probably the top team in the MAC this year. It will be a great challenge for us."
On true freshmen De’Runnya Wilson and Chris Jones playing significant minutes ...
“It was good to see those guys making plays. They’re starting to grow. De’Runnya is starting to get better, doing a nice job of learning how to play the game. Chris obviously is a guy who has a lot of athletic potential. He's a very talented athlete, but you can still see he’s really learning fundamentals and learning how to be a good every-down football player."
On finishing games ...
“Everything changes from every single week. An awful lot has improved since the first game against Oklahoma State. When you go back to the start of the season, you look at the missed assignments, we had more missed assignments in that game that now. The only other game was the Egg Bowl last year where he had close to that many missed assignments on offense from the first game of the season.
"We were down to about 18 total in the game in all three phases this last weekend. So fundamentally, we played much better. You look at this week’s game and the missed tackles. I think we each had the same number of missed tackles. They had more negative-yard plays than we did, but they had more explosive plays than we had.
"There were a lot of big plays made in that game, both negative yards and positive yardage on Saturday."
On injuries ...
“We expect everybody to play this week. But we’ll see. As the week goes on, there will be a lot of guys limited at practice. Nobody has been ruled out for the game on Saturday, or nobody new has been ruled-out for the game on Saturday."
On Bowling Green's program and how it has been built ...
“They’ve done a great job. Obviously you have to know who you’re competing against. It’s interesting, a lot of that conference is schools in Ohio with Akron, Kent State, Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Ohio University, which I’ve got a proud alum in my house!
"I think at Bowling Green, you’re competing against those schools, not against the big school in the state. But I think when you look at it, what they’ve done there, they’ve been able to win pretty consistently, build a solid foundation. It’s a great school. Now they’ve built some really facilities, all new facilities since I was there, so they have a lot to sell as a university. And it’s pretty accessible to a lot of places as far as travel and distance. They’ve done a good job."
On playing with a ‘chip-on-the-shoulder’ mentality ...
“We use that here. We have a chip on our shoulder here, you know, for a lot of our guys and within our conference. I’m sure they [Bowling Green] use all that stuff. I think their kids really look forward to playing in these games. The chip on the shoulder is the opportunity to play a SEC school. We get to do it eight times a year, they get to do it once so it’s a pretty big opportunity for those guys."