Egg Bowl Presser: Mullen on Freeze, Smack Talk, Son’s Allegiances

It’s Egg Bowl Week, so let the talk begin. MSU coach Dan Mullen had plenty of things to say about the rivalry with Ole Miss today. He’s 3-0 against the Rebels, and he’ll go for four in a row Saturday at 6 p.m. in Oxford (ESPNU).

Mullen was asked whether he had any advice for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze about his first Egg Bowl as a head coach.

“No. I hope they have as bad a week of practice as we did going into my first Egg Bowl. When I left on Thursday thinking we’re going to lose by about 50 going home for Thanksgiving dinner. We just didn’t have a very good practice on Thursday going into the game. I guess it showed how that worked out, too.”

Mullen said Freeze understands what this game means, and if he doesn’t, the fans will educate him.

“To me it’s pretty clear-cut for us who our big rivalry team is here,” Mullen said. “And I think our administration understands that, our student body, our fan base, everyone in the state of Mississippi understands that. So you get made aware of it. And as a first-year coach if you don’t know it coming in, or don’t know how important or haven’t been involved in big rivalry games before, they educate you very quickly.”

By the way, for a recap of Freeze’s Monday presser, go here. Here’s some more Egg Bowl chatter from Mullen.

Any interesting interactions with fans leading up to Egg Bowl:

“I get lots of comments. Check my Twitter feed and all that stuff. There’s a lot of choice comments made about this game on both sides of the fence. I’ll be honest, every once in a while, every couple days – sometimes on Fridays I’ll go skim it just to be amused. This week it’ll be even more amusing, because there will be comments from both sides, positive and negative from both sides.”

Vegas has Ole Miss as a 1-point favorite:

“Do we get a point when we show up? (Laughs) What’s that mean, though? Because you get so many points for being the home team, right, and it’s a night game. It means we’re pretty two evenly matched teams playing each other, I guess.”

This game more replicate the Holy War (Utah vs. BYU):

“Yeah. That wasn’t very friendly either. Most Holy Wars aren’t. I think just having the name out there of that game, just had that edge to it. It’s much closer to that than anything that you’ve had as a rivalry.”

On not tweaking Ole Miss lately, more respectful last couple years:

“Not on purpose. I don’t have any more respect for them now than I did last year or the year before or the year before that. It’s the same to me. Maybe they just haven’t changed their mascots or given me the layup maybe to poke fun at them this year.”

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And then, off the podium, Mullen mentioned how his 3 1/2-year-old son, Canon, watched the end of the Ole Miss-LSU game at a neighbor’s house. The neighbor happens to be an Ole Miss fan.

“I think he was cheering for the School up North in that particular situation. He said all his friends were cheering for them in their household,” Mullen said.

O RLY? Have you failed as a parent, Dan?

“No, because he has opinions on every game. He calls them the School up North, too. He has very strong opinions every game that’s played on Saturday. He knows every team in the SEC. Since we lost to LSU the week before, he was not real high on LSU at that point. He wouldn’t mind seeing them lose. He reels off everything. He watches the ticker on the bottom. If they have the words he doesn’t get it, but if you show the symbol (Mullen snaps).”

 

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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