Live blog: Dan Mullen press conference, UAB week

At 12:30 today, Dan Mullen will meet with the media for his weekly press conference. Mississippi State beat Southern Miss last weekend 49-0 and will face UAB on Saturday in Davis Wade Stadium.

We’ll have live updates here from Mullen when his press conference begins. Until then, enjoy the debut episode of This Is Our Plate in the video at the bottom of the page.

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Mullen is here, opens by saying all in the program are praying for Jameon Lewis and the loss of his little brother.

Looking at last week, Mullen says he was “pleased,” but thought “there were a lot of things we could do better.”

Said there are errors and little things you sometimes see in game one that he didn’t see, which makes him happy.

Mullen says UAB “Looks very different on film from last year,” so watching tape from last season doesn’t help. Mentions the Blazers had two running backs go over 200 yards against Troy last week and expects UAB to try and be physical and pound the ball.

Defensively, he said UAB is very multiple and tries to confuse offenses with a lot of different looks.

Talking about defensive end Preston Smith, Mullen says the senior had a great offseason, “played consistently well” on Saturday and understands what it takes if he wants to have a future in the NFL.

Adds that Smith’s overall understanding of the game is huge. Said he got the interception last week because he read the screen USM was trying to run, held back and found himself in the right position.

Talking now about the offense, Mullen says “I thought we did a pretty good job” of doing some of the up-tempo stuff. Says the depth he has on offense makes it a viable option.

Back to the defense, Mullen says the unit played well last week, but had a few too many missed tackles and needs to run to the football better.

Asked if Dak Prescott didn’t run much by design, Mullen mentions that Dak only played, basically, one half, plus MSU got up early. Said there were only two quarterback runs called during the game.

“Our running backs had some good runs, and if they’re running well, I’d rather feed them than Dak.”

Mullen on sophomore receiver De’Runnya Wilson: “I see a lot of improvement from last year to this year in being a receiver … I’ve seen significant improvement on the practice field and it’s good to see that translate into the game.”

More on UAB: “I see an improved complete football program coming into this Saturday … They run the ball very, very well and that helps you on defense … I saw a very aggressive defense, guys making plays, in position, making tackles. They give a lot of looks to confuse you. This is a very different team from last year.”

On placekicking, Mullen says it’s hard to evaluate. On the one field goal, “he had no chance based off the snap.” Happy that all seven extra points were made. Added that both Evan Sobiesk and Westin Graves were 4-of-5 in practice yesterday.

More on Jameon Lewis: “He got back today, we’ll see how he does … he knows the offense, he knows that stuff, so I don’t worry about missed time on the football side of things. We just want to know how he is emotionally … and be there for him. A lot of times, football is a great escape. The field is your safe place in the world, it’s where guys feel comfortable.”

Lastly, Mullen confirms sophomore running back Ashton Shumpert was only on a one-game suspension. Sounds like he’ll be back this week.

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