At 1 p.m. today, Dan Mullen will meet with the local media for his weekly press conference. Mississippi State beat South Alabama 35-3 over the weekend and plays at LSU on Saturday at 6 on ESPN. Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be on the call.
Live updates from Mullen to follow. In the meantime, enjoy the latest installment of This Is Our Plate, a weekly segment highlighting Starkville-area restaurants.
Mullen is here and reviewing their win over USA. Says they had a list of things they needed to, and while they didn’t accomplish all of them, they still would.
Looking ahead to LSU, Mullen says, “It’s really a tough environment to go into, especially when you look at all the weapons they have.”
Add that, “Statistically, it’s the best LSU defense we’ve ever played.”
“On the offensive line, they’ve just got wave after wave of guys … They’re Top 10 easily, one of the best teams in the country.”
Mullen says that while they did all they had to to win the first three games, “We still haven’t shown all of our offense, yet. The same defensively.”
On MSU’s losing streak to LSU, Mullen says they tell players, “It’s all about this one game on Saturday and how we play on Saturday, not anything else.”
Asked about some occasional struggles in the secondary, Mullen says, “I think, all year, we’re playing good defense. I can’t say we’re playing great defense because of the big plays we’re giving up, but when you take away the big chunks and look at the majority of our plays, we’re playing really, really good defense.”
Asked about the division, Mullen says, “There’s nowhere in the country like the SEC West. I don’t think, at any level of football, there’s a division like this with the percentage of quality teams.”
“Half of the Top 10 teams in the nation are in the SEC West right now,” Mullen continues. “I don’t know if there are many conferences with five teams in the Top 25.”
On preparing to face LSU, “We’re gonna need more defensive linemen this week with that power running of LSU.”
Mullen reiterating the effort needed to win the SEC. “You’ve got to execute every single play of the game. Not just some of the plays or most of the plays. It’s gotta be all 60 minutes.”
Mullen: “If we win this game, we’re gonna be where we want to be in the SEC race. It’s always important to win your first game in the conference.”
“They have talent and explosiveness on offense,” Mullen says. “And a suffocating defense.”
On injuries and participation, Mullen says safety Justin Cox is “probable” for this week. Says Jamaal Clayborn was back at practice after death of his grandmother.
Finally, Mullen says, “If we win, we’ll get two weeks of good publicity … If we lose, we get everybody telling us how bad we are. I can guarantee you, we won’t be as good as everyone would say we are, and we wouldn’t be as bad as everyone would say we are.”