Dan Mullen joined the SEC coaches teleconference this morning. Here’s a full transcript of Mullen’s conversation with the media.
Mullen: “I expect to keep our consecutive sellout streak alive this weekend. We have to get our guys ready to play in front of their home fans. We get to play a team like Alcorn State that is an instate team. It’s a game that’s a lot of fun for both schools. There’s a lot of familiarity there. You get to see these guys playing in high school at a lot of local towns throughout the state of Mississippi so it should be a really neat game.
“They’re obviously a team that scored a lot of points last week with a big, explosive offense. We’re going to have our hands full and have got to get ready to go play.”
Q: What was your conversation like with the officials after Tyler Russell was hit? This rule is a work in progress but is that something that you’d like officials to look at, when a guy is sliding that nobody should be coming at him?
Mullen: “There’s so many judgment calls in all of it. We’re going to see how this rule plays out this year before we look into doing any changes or other things.”
Q: Can you talk about the quarterback play after Tyler went down and what you thought?
Mullen: “I thought that Dak (Prescott) did a good job. He’s a young guy for us as a sophomore but he did a good job. He made some plays and obviously there are some things he can learn from. He missed a couple of reads out there on the field but he also made some other good throws and good decisions with the ball in his hands. That’s great for him to see himself on film making those plays and not just seeing somebody else do it. I expect to see a lot of development in him the more opportunities that he gets to play.”
Q: Last week was a different opener than State is used to playing. What do you think you learned most going and playing a team like Oklahoma State in that kind of venue?
Mullen: “For me the biggest thing we have to do is finish. I thought we opened the game really well. We played well on defense and really slowed them down and got them out of their game plan early in the game. Then we gave up some big plays as the game went on. Offensively we drove the ball between the 20’s really well and just didn’t finish drives. For our guys there were a lot of little things they can learn about finishing drives and finishing plays. That to me is going to be a big thing as we move forward.
“Oklahoma State is a very good football team. I think they’re picked to go win their conference championship. Our guys can see there are a lot of things we could have done to be in a position to win that game. What we have to do is make those improvements during this week and in the weeks to come.”
Q: Does the offense change at all with Dak back there? Is it more of a run first team or change without Tyler?
Mullen: “Overall we won’t (change) at this point. We’ll just run our offense. Dak’s obviously going to run it with a little different flavor than Tyler runs it. He’s a little more athletic of a guy but schematically we’re not going to change a whole lot.”
Q: How much are you going to rely on LaDarius Perkins and Josh Robinson with the inexperience at wide receiver and Dak in there this week?
Mullen: “We have to stay balanced or else people will just load up to stop one thing for us. We’re going to continue to stay balanced throughout the course of the game. A lot of people say you’re greatest improvement is between week one and week two. I don’t know if that’s true for every player but I do think our young receivers got to experience what a game is like. We expect to see a lot of improvement with those young wideouts between last week’s game and this week’s game.”