Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen fielded questions on the SEC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday.
Here is a transcript of what Mullen had to say about the Bulldogs homecoming matchup with Bowling Green.
Mullen: “We’ve got a tough game obviously this week. We’re coming off a physical SEC game last week. We’re playing a team that’s 5-1 right now and on top of the MAC conference. Everybody knows how tough a conference that is. They’ve proven that every year with a lot of upsets over schools that are supposedly in bigger conferences.
“We have a lot of respect for their team and their coaching staff. They’re a balanced team. Our guys have worked hard this week and had a decent week of practice so far. We’re getting guys back who were banged up in the last game. Hopefully we’ll have everybody ready to go for Saturday.”
How do you see the quarterback situation moving forward with Tyler (Russell) coming back and attacking the secondary the way he did and still using Dak (Prescott) some?
Mullen: “A lot of it is how practice goes each week and game plan to game plan on how we’re going to attack defenses. You could go heavier one guy or the other depending on how we’re going to attack defenses in different situations.
“I think both of them have proved what they can do on the field and are both deserving of playing. A lot of it comes from how they perform at practice and depending on the plan what the rotation will be during the game. I see them both playing every game the rest of the way as long as everybody is healthy.”
How have you see the third downs improve or not improve through the first couple of weeks of the season?
Mullen: “I’ve seen a couple of good things. At the end of the game everybody looks at what you were on third down. We break it down much more than that with situations. I think last week we were 1 of 5 on 3rd-down-and-10-plus then pretty good on the other down and distances. The key to that is obviously you want to avoid 3rd-down-and-10-plusses. That’s opportunity No. 1. You want to stay out of long distance situations.
“What I have seen is we’ve improved with that. On games that we’ve been poor on third down, we’ve had a lot of long third down situations. Those are tough to convert but I have seen us improve on less than 10-yard situations which is important.”