Bulldogs strive to get eligible for postseason
MSU quarterback Chris Relf (14) looks for running room against Arkansas last season. Coach Dan Mullen said Relf was scheduled to practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
The Mississippi State Bulldogs haven't had the season that many expected them to, but it's a difficult task to compete in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference.
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This weekend, the Bulldogs face an SEC West opponent who happens to be ranked in the top 10.
MSU head coach Dan Mullen knows it's an important game division-wise, but also postseason wise.
"This is a big game for us right now," said Mullen. "We are at five wins, we need to get that sixth win to get ourselves bowl eligible and get back to consecutive bowl games."
Making a bowl game is a huge part of becoming a successful program. Especially when a team is young and could use to extra practice to help build for the next season.
MSU definitely has young players as many of them can be seen on the field in every game.
"We are trying to develop this program, and the extra practices that come along with that is a huge advantage," said Mullen. "This a really big game for us and we are going to have to play really hard on the road to win against a top 10 team."
Arkansas not only has the No. 1 offense in the SEC, they also have the number one punt returner in Joe Adams. Adams showed off his ability in the Razorbacks win last week with a ridiculous 60-yard return for a touchdown, but Mullen isn't preparing just for him on special teams.
"I think you get yourself in trouble doing that," said Mullen. "If you try to change to many things, but we have to have great coverage units. We have to get down the field and cover and that's a huge deal for us."
As the Bulldogs are preparing for Adams and the Razorbacks, they got some good news on Wednesday as senior quarterback Chris Relf, who has been out with a mild concussion, was going to return to practice.
Mullen said he expects Relf to play on Saturday after his return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon.
The status of MSU senior linebacker Brandon Maye for the game in Little Rock is unclear. Maye was suspended for the Alabama game, but has been practicing with the team all week according to Mullen. However, Mullen said Maye would continue to practice with the team the remainder of the week, but he would make a decision about the game later this week.