At 1 p.m. today, Dan Mullen will hold his weekly press conference in advance of No. 1 Mississippi State hosting Arkansas. MSU is 7-0 following last week’s win over Kentucky and will play the Razorbacks on ESPN2 at 6:15 Saturday night.
Live updates to come. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s episode of This Is Our Plate where we made soft-shell crab at The Veranda.
Mullen is here.
Opens saying he’s pleased with the win over Kentucky, particularly because it’s another example of a time when people stepped up to make plays.
“But that’s way behind us now. We’re looking ahead to a really, really good Arkansas team.”
Specifically, Mullen says Arkansas has an impressive defense and defensive line who gets up the field. Says they are fast and physical.
Offensively, “They’ve got the biggest offensive line in the country, including pro football.”
On defending Arkansas’ run game, Mullen says the Razorback QB is very efficient and takes advantage of the attention the run game.
“They’re a huge challenge.”
Mullen adds: “Congrats to our women’s golf team being ranked No. 1 in the country. That’s pretty awesome. Big time.”
Is it time to start thinking playoffs?
“It starts week one for us,” Mullen says, referencing the difficult schedule in the SEC. “We’ll worry about trying to beat Arkansas, and if we’re able to do that, our focus will turn to UT Martin.”
His point, of course, being that they only worry about the next game up. “I know it sounds like coach talk, but it’s what you have to do.”
Asked about miscues by “1-B” defense, Mullen says he and defensive coordinator Geoff Collins were equally displeased and concerned with fixing the issues.
Mullen says “1-B” defense gave up twice as many yards and points in half as many plays as the “1-A” defense against UK.
On punt returns and freshman Jamoral Graham: “We feel comfortable with Jamoral back there.”
Said MSU has other options, though not as many with Jameon Lewis banged up, but “we felt pretty confident with Jamoral back there.”
On field goal kicking, Mullen says the decision between Evan Sobiesk and Logan Cooke was “right on the edge” before settling on the freshman Cooke. Mullen said Cooke has the biggest leg and actually made a 57-yarder in practice. They consider Cooke the long-range kicker and Mullen also said if the game came down to a really long field goal, they didn’t want that to be Cooke’s first kick.
Funnily enough, Mullen said it was his advice that may have messed Cooke up on the field goal. Mullen told him before hand, “This is your first kick and people have a tendency to kick it way too hard because they’re excited and nervous. Then, he went out there and just kind of tapped it. I guess he took coaching too well.”
On injuries: Mullen said everybody who has been healthy remains healthy, which would indicate Dak Prescott is fine. Said Jameon Lewis is still getting back to 100%.
Mullen asked about Anthony Dixon: “It’s that personality he has. He walks into a room and he’s always upbeat and excited … He’s got a spirit about him that you feel when he walks into a room.”