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Focus for MSU turns to Bama

November 6, 2011

MSU football coach Dan Mullen, right, visits with players on the sideline. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

There's not much time to celebrate if you are a Mississippi State Bulldog.
Despite picking up up their second consecutive win on Saturday, the focus for the Bulldogs has quickly turned to Alabama, who will visit Starkville at 6:45 p.m. this Saturday on ESPN.
Even though the attention is solely on the Crimson Tide, it doesn't mean head coach Dan Mullen isn't looking back at the performance against UT Martin.
"We have some great things that we can improve on from last night's (Saturday) win," said Mullen. "Most positive outcome of the game is we got a win and secondly, we got to play a lot of players and guys who needed experience got some experience."
One of the negatives from the Bulldogs 55-17 win in Mullen's eyes was the defense giving up 262 rushing yards.
"I don't think we got off blocks very well," said Mullen. "We got blocked and stayed blocked, and we have to do a better job of getting off blocks and make tackles. We had over 20 missed tackles and that can't happened."
If the Bulldogs don't get that fixed, it could be a long night this Saturday with Alabama running back Trent Richardson carrying the ball.
Even though the offense put up 48 points against UT Martin, Mullen wasn't too pleased with their performance.
"Our execution wasn't that great," said Mullen. "We made big plays which is fantastic, but when you're going to play a team of the caliber of Alabama, you're not going to get away with depending on big plays. You have to go out an execute at a very high level for four quarters to win."
Executing at a high level for four quarters is difficult in every game, but it could be even more difficult with Bama ranking first in the nation in numerous categories, which Mullen isn't happy about.
"It's not encouraging," said Mullen. "We have to find a way to make plays because they are very well coached and and a very veteran unit. They have a lot of experience and obviously they are the top defense in the nation and we are going to have to play at a very high level.
"We will have our hands full, and we'll need everybody in the state of Mississippi out there helping us as we try to find a way to get a win."
The Bulldogs were without defensive back Nickoe Whitely for Saturday night's game due to a suspension, but Mullen plans on having him back this week against Alabama.

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