October 20, 2010

Mullen talking Blazers

On paper Saturday's homecoming matchup with UAB may not look like much.

But to Dan Mullen and his No. 24 ranked Mississippi State squad it is the biggest game of the year. The Bulldogs finished with just five wins a year ago and finished their season at the end of November.

Now already at five wins a win on Saturday over the Blazers would end MSU's two-year bowl drought.

"This is a huge game for us," Mullen said. "One of the big things for us this year was making sure we won our home football games. If we are going to build a solid program for the future that is a critical thing for us to win at home. UAB is a tough and talented football team. They have played a lot of teams tough this year and we are going to have to come out and play one of our best games of the season to get a win."

UAB is 2-4 overall this season with a 34-33 win over Troy and a 21-6 victory against UTEP last week. The Blazers also took Tennessee into two overtimes in Knoxville proving they will not be intimidated on the road in the Southeastern Conference.

Part of UAB's success this year is due in part to their quarterback play. Like MSU, the Blazers use a dual quarterback system with junior Bryan Ellis as the true passer while sophomore David Isabelle is considered the more dangerous running threat.

"They compliment each other very well," Mullen said. "They are very similar in how we have used our quarterbacks. One is a stronger thrower but has the ability to run and the other is a stronger runner that has the ability to throw. They kind of specialize with what they do but both of them can run their offense and that's what makes them tricky. The fact that they balance them and both of them can run and throw allows them to run their complete offense."

Ellis has completed 92-of-161 passing for 1,198 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions on the year while Isabelle has hit on 23-of-50 for 264 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

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