October 19, 2009

Mullen prepares to face former team

Mississippi State earned a much needed win on Saturday with a 27-6 victory at Middle Tennessee, their first non-conference road win since 2007.

Now the Bulldogs and head coach Dan Mullen will turn their attention to stopping the defending national champion Florida Gators.

Mullen no doubt will have plenty of emotions this week going against his former team where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2005-08. But he does not want his personal ties to the Gators get in the way of preparing his new team for the task at hand.

"This is a big game for us," Mullen said. "I don't think that my path is going to be any sort of distraction for us. This is an opportunity for our team to come out, play the number one team in the country and for our fans and the state of Mississippi to get behind us and hopefully find a way to make a big upset."

Mullen will also be squaring off against his mentor Urban Meyer for the first time. Mullen and Myer had worked together from 1999-2008 on four coaching stops at Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.

But Mullen insists that facing his friend on the opposing sideline is not the biggest challenge on Saturday.

"It's going to be tough because (Meyer) is going to have a lot of talented football players standing on his left and his right across the field," Mullen said. "It's going to be a great challenge for our guys. It's a great opportunity to play the number one team in the country. I've learned an awful lot from Urban and have an unbelievable amount of respect for the program that he runs. Florida is the top program in the country right now and it's exciting for our kids to get the opportunity to play the top program in the country."

Mullen stated that he has not spoken with Meyer since the summer but the two often exchange text messages.

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