MEMPHIS, Tenn. – With kickoff to the 2013 AutoZone Liberty Bowl less than 24 hours away, the Mississippi State football team wrapped up its preparations for the clash against Rice.
The team visited the National Civil Rights Museum in the morning and took the official team picture in the afternoon while conducting its final meetings prior to the game. Head coach Dan Mullen also served as The Peabody’s Honorary Duckmaster in the morning and spoke at the bowl’s final press conference.
Dan Mullen Duckmaster And Press Conference ...
Before the team visited the National Civil Rights Museum in the morning, head coach Dan Mullen took a turn as The Peabody’s Honorary Duckmaster. Duckmaster Anthony Petrina introduced Mullen to the crowd and presented him with a duckmaster cane and proclamation. For a full video recap of the duckmaster experience, click here and here.
Mullen then went through the final press conference prior to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The coach addressed how much fun the team has had during the week in Memphis and how much hospitality The Peabody, the city of Memphis and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl have shown the Bulldogs.
Mullen said the fourth quarter of the LSU game was a turning point of the season as the squad was disappointed in the outcome, but decided it was time to fight through it and come out as winners. He also noted senior defensive back Nickoe Whitley made a season-saving play at Arkansas with his fourth-quarter forced fumble. From that point on, Mullen said everybody else has stepped up his game.
On Rice, Mullen believes its cornerbacks are two of the best he has seen this year. He also notes the strength of the Owls as their senior leadership. They had a group of players determined to win a conference championship and accomplished that goal.
To close his press conference, Mullen talked about the number of players who have gone through Mississippi State and are now in the NFL playoffs. He takes a great deal of pride in the player development he has been able to bring to the Bulldogs.
Team Photo And Walkthrough ...
In MSU’s first trip to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the team spent approximately 45 minutes walking on the field and getting used to the lighting and also taking the official team photo.
At the end of the session, Mullen addressed the team and stressed the importance of being focused for Tuesday's contest and not getting distracted. He also said the team that was most likely to win was the one that got ready to play quickest and got into game mode fastest.
Looking Ahead ...
Kickoff for the 2013 AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be at 3 p.m. CT on ESPN. Bob Wischusen and Rod Gilmore will have the call in the booth while Quint Kessenich will serve as the sideline reporter. For more information on the game, read the MSU game preview here.