September 13, 2010

Bulldogs refocused on making plays

Coming off a tough three point loss to Auburn last week, Mississippi State took some time off this weekend to reflect back and get refocused.

The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields for the first time since Thursday's defeat to begin preparing for one of the most hostile environments in all of college football, LSU's Tiger Stadium.

"We're obviously getting ready to play another tough SEC opponent," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "They are one, if not the most, talented teams in the league. It's always tough to play down at their place on a Saturday night. We've got to get ready and that's what makes SEC football great which is the competition you play every week."

The Tigers have a talented defense awaiting MSU's arrival. LSU's secondary features one of the best defensive backs in the nation in Patrick Peterson whose superb cover skills frees up the rest of the Tigers defense to attack.

"It makes life easier for you when you've got guys who can cover and eliminate receivers on the back end in man coverage," Mullen said. "Knowing John Chavis, that's kind of been his deal in all the years back when he was at Tennessee and now. He's got great corners that can lock you down and let everyone else play defense and stop the rest of the attack."

LSU has perennially had one of the top defensive lines in the country and this season is no different according to the Bulldogs second year head coach.

"You've got to be sound and block them," Mullen said. "They are a very talented group. They are always one of the most talented teams in the country. For us, we've just got to execute at a higher level and when plays are there to be made you've got to make them. They are not going to give you tons of plays so when you get a chance to make them you'd better make them."

Mullen was simply not satisfied with playing Auburn close this past weekend and moral victories do not count in the win column. Instead he concentrated on pointing out the plays that his team simply left on the field.

"We're in this to win right now," Mullen said. "In looking at it, we had the opportunity to win. The game was right there. If you have the opportunity to win a game, you'd better go seize it. We missed plays from top to bottom. There were plays in the first through fourth quarter that were there to be made that really could have helped us win that football game."

Most of the focus has been on the six passes that were dropped by Bulldog receivers but Mullen also noted that execution was missed on both sides of the ball.

"There were a lot of plays to be made on defense that we didn't make last week," Mullen said. "There were as many plays to be made on defense as there were on offense. I think if you have a dropped ball or something on offense then that's easy to see to the amateur eye sitting in the stands. But defensively we made as many mistakes as we did on offense and we've got to get that stuff fixed. The errors and plays that were there to be made were across the board."

On the injury front, Mullen stated that junior tight end Marcus Green's MRI on Friday came back positive. Green left Thursday's game with a knee injury but is expected to be ready when the Bulldogs travel to Baton Rogue.

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