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Attention turns to Troy: After beating Auburn, MSU moves forward

September 10, 2012

Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen prepares to lead his team onto the field for Saturday's game against Auburn. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

The Bulldogs opened Southeastern Conference play with a sound 28-10 defeat of the Auburn Tigers on Saturday.

On Sunday, MSU head coach Dan Mullen quickly addressed the win and moved on to Troy.

"Obviously a great way to start off the SEC season to get that win in that first game,” Mullen said on his Sunday teleconference. “After watching, there's some things we have to get cleaned up and improve on. It's always great to do that after a win though because you have a good feeling coming into it on Sunday.”
 
Defensive praise

Mississippi State allowed Auburn just 90 yards of total offense through three quarters and surrendered just three points on a short field.

Needless to say, Mullen was pleased.

“I'm really pleased with how our defense played and I think we only allowed Auburn to cross midfield once in the first three quarters,” Mullen said. “We only allowed a field goal after a turnover and really pleased with the defense. We were able to play a bunch of different guys and they performed.”
 
Bulldogs no surprise

After back-to-back bowl appearances and a win over the Auburn Tigers, it is safe to say the Bulldogs won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season and Mullen fully understands that.

Now he’s ready to see if his team can handle being marked men.

"That's a good feeling to have,” Mullen said of having the bullseye on the back. “It's a long season and we have to come back this week.
There's different kinds of adversity – the adversity of facing failure and the adversity of how you handle success. This is a very important week for our guys because we're in a position to do some great things this week. How do we handle this success by playing a tough team on the road this week."
 
Plan for Russell, Prescott

Mullen isn’t afraid to use two quarterbacks when building his offensive strategy.

He’s used this strategy everywhere he’s been and MSU is no different.

Tyler Russell is the drop back passer and game manager Mullen is looking for while Dak Prescott provides a change of pace which allows him to gain experience while providing the Bulldogs with a new look on offense.

"Tyler's managing in the game in a way that is so in tune to the plan," Mullen said. "He sees third and short and knows what our package was for that."

Mullen said Prescott's job is to learn from whatever playing time he receives.

"He needs to talk to us about what we want to do when we get a first down," Mullen said. "That's what you want out of that situation and it's an actual benefit to get to talk to him during a drive. I get to tell him 'hey let's take a shot right here and this is why we want to do it' and it could be a good advantage.

"He knows he is going to get in the game and has to prepare for the whole gameplan in case he has to be the guy. It can give him confidence as we go because now he's played in some big moments in an SEC game. As the season goes forward, it will allow him to grow how we need him to grow."

Ready for Troy

Mississippi State experiences its first road test of the season this Saturday with a trip to Troy, Ala.

Coming off an emotional win, Mullen plans on having his team grounded and fully tuned in on what Troy can do.

"We'll get in that (Sunday)," Mullen said. "In knowing (Troy's) past, they've always been a extremely explosive offense. They run a lot of plays and puts up a lot of points and yards."

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