Is it an off week? Sure.
Does that mean we have nothing to talk about? Of course not!
Sorry to get all excitable with the exclamation point there, but I think it helped emphasize the point.
While he was out of town on Monday when we typically have our weekly press conferences, Dan Mullen sat down with reporters Tuesday night to talk about the off week, his win over South Alabama and the upcoming game against Kentucky next weekend on October 6. If you hadn’t heard, by the way, that game will kick-off at 11:21 a.m. and be televised on the SEC Network.
Head over here to HailState.com for the full and lengthy chat with Mississippi State’s head coach, in which he broaches many topics.
To sum it up easily, however, we’ve got a few notes.
- Mullen offered the following injury report: freshman cornerback Cedric Jiles is doubtful for Kentucky with a broken hand, sophomore tight end Malcolm Johnson (pectoral) is questionable, though it sounds close to probable, senior defensive tackle Devin Jones (shoulder) is questionable and senior right guard Tobias Smith appears to be somewhere between questionable and probable.
- Just a personal note here: Johnson’s return may be the biggest news of the season. He looked outstanding in the spring and Mullen had huge plans for the converted receiver before his injury. He’s a big-time weapon, a serious mismatch and, probably, the best downfield and red zone threat MSU has when he’s at 100 percent.
- As for his quarterback, Mullen said “He’s fine,” stating there are no injury issues there for Tyler Russell. What he did say is an issue, however, was Russell’s play was not great Saturday and that much of it was due to the signal-caller over-thinking things and waiting too long to throw the both under-thrown and over-thrown passes (Mullen’s words, not mine).
- On Russell’s interception, though, Mullen actually said senior receiver Arceto Clark was responsible, calling his route-running on the play in question “horrendous.”
- Now, on his off week, Mullen is able to step back and look at the big picture of the season a little bit. In doing so, Mullen said he’s realized the fan base, while excited, is not surprised. He thinks MSU fans expected to be 4-0, “And I like that.”
- Also during the bye, some of the more game-worn starters will go through less intensive practices, while the twos and what Mullen called the one-and-a-halfs – those who split reps – will see more action in practice and get more opportunity to prove themselves, be evaluated and get comfortable with the offense or defense.
Now, enjoy some videos of a few of his players talking (look for me in the LaDarius Perkins interview), about whom we will be writing plenty more.
Also, don’t forget: MSU is revealing the uniforms for the Texas A&M game and the Egg Bowl today at a press conference at 11. We’ll have pictures, quotes and the like here on the blog, as well as full coverage on HailState.com.