Join us here at 1 p.m. for live updates from Dan Mullen’s weekly Monday afternoon press conference. Mississippi State plays Alcorn State this weekend in its home debut. The game kicks off at 2:30 ct and will be televised by CSS.
He’s here! And we’re off…
Mullen’s excited about opening the home slate, naturally. Loves the energy around town, in The Junction. Looks forward to his Friday routine of a jog around campus. (Heads up, sorority row. He may need water)
“Guys are coming in with a chip, wanting to make plays, especially in this environment” – Mullen
Fun hearing Mullen talk about the in-state aspect of playing Alcorn. Guys on teams grew up with each other, enjoy seeing each other.
Injury updates: Tyler Russell is doubtful for this weekend after taking a hit to the head against OSU.
Safety Jay Hughes is out for the season with a torn achilles, Mullen tells us. Called it a big loss not just from playing but from a leadership standpoint.
Right guard Justin Malone is doubtful for this week, cornerback Jamerson Love is “more questionable” according to Mullen.
Talking about when Russell left the game, Mullen said there “wasn’t a panic” or anything like that with the switch to Dak Prescott. Said they can still call or not call whatever plays they wanted with the sophomore QB. Liked “the feel” of it.
Getting back more into the OSU game, Mullen said there was a lot he was “disappointed” with. “Finish is going to be a big thing for us. I know that sounds like Coach-Talk, but that’s what we have to do.” Said drives have to be finished, plays have to be finished, games have to be finished. He wants MSU to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities. “That’s on me.”
Apparently 14 different freshmen played Saturday, Mullen said. “I thought they handled themselves pretty well … You try to script something easy for their first time … They got the first reps of their career in meaningful reps.”
Mullen says the idea of biggest improvement coming from first game to second game doesn’t really apply to vets, guys like Gabe Jackson, but thinks we could see something like that with those freshmen. “You could see guys take big strides here the next 2-3 weeks.”
Mullen on sophomore QB Dak Prescott: “He’s the guy. He’s gotta be ready to go.” Said he’s gonna get a lot more reps in practice with ones this week.
Mullen: “I always take the responsibility for the play calling … I’m an offensive coach … As we move forward we’ll address taking more shots down the field.”
Mullen: “The game played out kind of the way we wanted it to play out … trying to keep them out of their tempo game played out how we wanted it to.” Obviously MSU didn’t take advantage he said, but liked how certain parts went.
On Russell and Prescott’s relationship, says the two have worked well together for a long time. Adds, “Dak has had a leadership role on our team for a long time. Our guys are used to seeing that.”
On sophomore defensive tackles Nick James and Quay Evans, Mullen said “We’re gonna see if they’re ready to play.” Didn’t elaborate much. Possibility of James redshirting this year. Said he met with Evans earlier, thought he had a good week of practice last week. Said Evans “is on the right track.”