At 1 p.m. today, Dan Mullen will meet with the media for his weekly press conference. Following a 17-10 win over Arkansas, No. 1 Mississippi State hosts UT-Martin for Homecoming this weekend with kickoff set for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Live updates to follow. In the meantime, here’s this week’s episode of This Is Our Plate, visiting Mugshots Bar and Grill in Starkville.
Alright, Mullen is here. Time to get underway.
“We’ve had to win games a lot of different ways,” Mullen says in reference to the Arkansas game. “We’ve won some high-scoring games, now we’ve won a low-scoring game.”
Said there’s been come-from-behind wins, wins when they maintained a lead, wins they ran and wins when the threw.
“Win however you can. Winning is the most important thing.”
On UT-Martin, Mullen says he knows the coach well. Believes they run an “unorthodox” defense and an up-tempo offense. Mullen calls UTM coming to Starkville, “A big opportunity for them, when you’re a smaller school … They’ll come in with a big chip on their shoulder.”
Interesting. Mullen says at halftime of the Arkansas game he talked to the team and said, “What a great opportunity we have here trailing at halftime.”
Mullen also says they talked in their team meeting on Sunday about turnovers. MSU is still on the plus-side for the season, but the last few games have been problematic. Mullen said it’s extremely important they fix it.
On the two interceptions, Mullen says they’re “not really on Dak” but does call them poor reads. Also not happy with the “mental” mistake of the punt return fumble.
“When you’re the hunted, not the hunter, people are gonna throw the kitchen sink at you,” Mullen says.
He adds that people will do things against you they haven’t done on film, which is what defensive players said Arkansas did Saturday. They had to adjust mid-game.
On the decision to play true freshman linebacker JT Gray, Mullen said he talked with him and his family first. Gray was all for it and got tackles on three of his four plays Saturday. Mullen very impressed, named him the in-house special teams player of the week.
Asked about sophomore quarterback Damian Williams, Mullen said the plan for this week isn’t necessarily the same as the rest of the non-conference games. They want to get guys experience early in the season, don’t plan for it quite as much late in the season.
On advance scouting, Mullen says they have people in the program who are always working ahead on future opponents, but says coaches themselves don’t do it.
“Our focus is completely on beating UT-Martin this week,” Mullen says.
Important thing is to have stuff ready on Sundays after games when they need it.
MSU’s defense changed up its rotation a bit this week, which Mullen says seemed to work well, especially considering how few points were given up. Mullen said he’d rather have not given up so many yards, but they held strong when it mattered.
On special teams, Mullen said punter Devon Bell was a key to MSU winning Saturday. Once on a 50-yard punt from MSU’s end zone, then again when “he used all of his 13-inch vertical” to grab a high snap and get the punt off late in the game.
On Dylan Favre, the former MSU QB now playing for UTM, “He’s a playmaker. He’s a gamer and can make things happen on the field. You put him on the field and exciting things happen. Some good, some bad.”