Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen joined the rest of the Southeastern Conference coaches on Wednesday for a teleconference.
Mullen previewed the Bulldogs upcoming game against Ole Miss on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Here is a transcript of Mullen’s time on the call…
Mullen: “We’re getting ready. Obviously a short week of practice changes things up for you. We’ve been getting ready to play the game. It’s a huge game for us. Obviously the rivalry games are the biggest games of the year. We’re excited and ready to play.”
How big would it be for your program to go to a bowl game for a fourth straight year and is it ironic you have to beat Ole Miss because they had to go through you last year?
Mullen: “It’s been that same way three years in a row. We had to beat them two years ago to get there too and last year they had to win. Now we have to win again to get there. It’s just kind of how that’s played out. It always seems to be that way with this being the last game of the season.”
Not a lot of teams in the SEC West have had four years of going to bowl games. Can you put that in perspective within that division and how difficult it is to sustain that amount of success four years in a row?
Mullen: “We’re trying to do something here that’s never been done before. They’ve been playing football here for a long, long time now – over 100 years – and we’ve never made it to four consecutive bowl games. I think that would be something special to do and a great bonus on top of winning the Egg Bowl trophy back again. Winning the game has always been focus No. 1. I know our guys would rather win this game than go to a bowl game so I think that’s pretty important for us.”
How has Tyler Russell performed this week in practice?
Mullen: “Everybody has done good. We’re kind of the same way we’ve been. We’ve got a lot of guys who are banged up and injured.But guys are still getting their reps, getting ready to go to perform on game day.”
How has true freshman Damian Williams reacted to the short week?
Mullen: “Damian’s done a good job. The fact that he got a lot of reps last week for the game has certainly helped him with this week. Because of all the injuries, he took a majority of the reps last week at practice. I think that’s certainly helped him out.”
With the Iron Bowl being this week if you had to choose between Auburn’s Tre Mason or Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon for one game, which would you pick?
Mullen: “I don’t know because I haven’t been and watched them practice and seen how they prepare for games. I like our LaDarius Perkins and how he prepares for games.”
What do you think makes Tre Mason and T.J. Yeldon good running backs?
Mullen: “They’re very productive. They both get a lot of yards within their system. They read holes well, are physical runners and drop their pad level and get tough, earned yards.”
Are there any updates with the quarterbacks or is that a game time decision?
Mullen: “We’ll figure it out at game time. That’s what we did last week and we’ll do the same this week.”
You’ve had as much success as anybody against Alabama and Auburn. What is the key to attacking those offenses?
Mullen: “You’ve got to be ready to go play a physical football game. They both want to run the ball and are physical teams. So you’ve got to be ready to play physical and you’ve got to be very sound. You have to fit your game time after time because they have explosive players on their teams. If you make a mistake they have some talented players that will make you pay for it.”