October 14, 2009

Mullen talking Middle Tennessee

Mississippi State will faceoff against their third non-conference opponent in as many weeks but this week will venture on the road to do it.

The Bulldogs will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for their game against Middle Tennessee marking the first time a Southeastern Conference School has done so.

The Blue Raiders are 3-2 on the year but are coming off a 31-7 loss to Troy last week on the road. Middle Tennessee is averaging 330.5 yards and 20.2 points per game this season and already have wins over Maryland, Memphis and North Texas.

"We're getting ready to play another tough non-conference opponent," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "They are a team that has gone on the road and had a big win against Maryland, a team from a BCS conference as well as a win over a Conference USA team in Memphis this year. We're going to have our hands full. They obviously put up a lot of points and yards on the offensive side of the ball. They do a good job of that with the system that they have. They get it spread out and try to get the ball to as many playmakers as they can and they try to confuse you and give you as many different looks as they can on the defensive side of the ball."

The Bulldogs have lost their last three games during a homestand and are hoping their fortunes will turn on the road. MSU has turned the ball over 13 times during the last three contests including nine fumbles, seven of which were lost.

"It's a different thing on every play," Mullen said. "It could be a matter of a guy straining for extra yards, having poor ball security because he's straining and not having his elbow locked, poor exchange on the quarterback handoff, poor decision by the quarterback trying to keep the ball on the option. It's a attributed to a bunch of those things. If it was one thing it would be easier to fix but there is a bunch of things that we continue to work on."

Bulldog senior running back Anthony Dixon continues to be impressive with his fourth consecutive 100-plus yard performance. Dixon has racked up 561 yards averaging 112.2 yards per game which ranks 11th in the nation and second in the SEC.

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