Live blog: Dan Mullen and Vann Stuedeman

At 1 p.m. today, we’ll visit with Dan Mullen in advance of MSU hosting Bowling Green this weekend, and beforehand we’ll be chatting with softball coach Vann Stuedeman, whose team began fall play this week.

I’ll have live updates here.

Dan Mullen:

Mullen: “Bowling Green, obviously, a tough team. 5-1, won convincingly against some tough teams … It’ll be a tough task, a very senior unit.”

BG’s depth is “very opportunistic,” Mullen says, then gives a pretty sparkling review of their “explosive offense.”

Mullen asked about freshmen De’Runnya Wilson and Chris Jones, said they’re growing, the key is both are in the process of learning fundamentals. Was happy to see them have such big performances.

“An awful lot has improved since then,” Mullen says when asked about changes since Oklahoma State loss. This past weekend, “We were more fundamentally sound. We played better.”

On the injury front, Mullen says they expect everyone to play. “Nobody new has been ruled out for Saturday.”

Interesting. Mullen points out something I didn’t realize: true freshman Ashton Shumpert has the second-most carries among running backs.

Mullen said he was impressed with poise of Tyler Russell. Hadn’t played in a long time, got sacked on his first play, then stepped up and played so well.

On Russell taking hits, Mullen says QBs take just as many hits in the pocket as they do running. “I hope he’s the aggressor, be the hammer, not the nail.”

Asked what Dan Mullen now would tell Dan Mullen 12 years ago when he was at Bowling Green, Mullen said, “Boy, I don’t know. I really like my life now … I’d be scared to do something different, it might get like Michael J. Fox and Back to the Future. I don’t wanna mess anything up.”


Vann Stuedeman:

Seriously, she’s the best. Stuedeman opens up the availability with, “Let’s get crunk! I hope everyone is Vanntastic!” The exclamation points are needed.

Stuedeman says she was told year two is always the worst, and she thought it went well last year, so she’s excited for this season, particularly with a veteran group.

On back-to-back NCAA Tourney appearances in her first two years, Stuedeman says, “it’s a standard now. It’s what they expect.”

Oh, cool, softball team is doing a pitching expo in The Junction this weekend. Rest of the team will be signing autographs and giving out T-shirts. Then, doubleheader on Sunday at home.

Two pitchers graduated from last year’s team, so the depth behind now-senior Alison Owen will be some new faces. Stuedeman says she’s expecting a bigger role for senior Shana Sherrod, talked about several others stepping up into a more prominent position, plus some new freshmen now on campus.

Stuedeman says, on pitching, it will be “a bullpen mentality,” with lots of players on the mound.

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