Join us here at 1 p.m. for live updates from Dan Mullen’s weekly Monday afternoon press conference. Mississippi State begins the season on Saturday at 2:30 against Oklahoma State on ABC/ESPN2.
And we’re off….
Mullen: “Last year we probably force-fed Dak [Prescott] a little bit. getting him experience early on is not as critical now. “He’s ready to go.”
Injury report: TE Rufus Warren likely out, TE Gus Walley definitely out, MLB Ferlando Bohanna questionable. “Everyone else is good.”
Mullen: “Preseason polls, we play five top-13 teams. For our guys, they love the challenge. That’s why they come here. … You have to judge success in a certain way, that you might not go undefeated. And that’s OK, you can still win championships without going undefeated.”
Mullen: “The opportunity to play in this game is special. It’s more special when you win, but every game is that way. It’s an honor to be invited to play in this type of game and it shows where our program has come to be thought of.”
Mullen on OSU’s defense: “They have some very talented players in the secondary and they have some defensive linemen with explosiveness. … They have guys that have played a lot of football coming back. … They don’t give up a lot of big plays. They’re very assignment sound. They’re good tacklers. They really force you to earn every yard.”
Coach, your collar is flipped. Needs Megan here to take care of him.
May sound obvious, but Mullen said one of their focal points for OSU offense is preventing big plays. “Make them work up and down the field.”
Speaking of corners, bit of praise for sophomore Taveze Calhoun from Mullen, listed as a starter on depth chart. Has battled injuries, but coaches always liked his talent and knowledge of defense.
Mullen: I see us playing 4-5 corners, easily, in this game. Maybe more.
Asked about some young guys in the two-deep (Derunnya Wilson and Chris Jones, in particular), Mullen said “It’s not just making plays, it’s making plays within the system.” Says some guys make plays, but it’s not within the system and doesn’t always help as much as it could.
On the difference between ranked OSU and usual “easier” openers, Mullen says main thing is to take out the room for error. Typically, he says, you’re playing young guys, getting reps, etc.
“You’re treating this game like you would a game in late November.”
Mullen: When you put in the work of offseason conditioning and training … I know it’s a special way to start to the season. Our players are excited. We’re ready to go play.