September 1, 2010

Mullen, Bulldogs ready for opener

Mississippi State and Dan Mullen are ready to the season opener to get here.

The Bulldogs and their second year head coach have toiled through the offseason and fall camp and are chomping at the bit to begin the 2010 campaign against Memphis.

"We're ready to get this season going right now," Mullen said. "It seems like a long time since we've been on the field. We had a great offseason, great spring, great training camp and good summer. We've been going at each other for a while and I'm really excited to get the season kicked off with all the excitement surrounding our program right now. Our fan support has been unbelievable and we're ready to get out there and hit someone with a different colored jersey."

MSU saw plenty of offensive success under Mullen compared to years past. The Bulldogs averaged 97 more yards per game and 10 more points in 2010 than the previous fall. They also added four more first downs and 127 more yards on the ground.

In fact, State led the entire Southeastern Conference in the rushing department with 227.58 yards per game. Mullen does not plan on veering from that offensive philosophy even though the Bulldogs graduated the school's all-time leading rusher Anthony Dixon.

"We are always going to be a team that runs the ball and we led the SEC in rushing last year," Mullen said. "We are not really going to try to change our approach. We want to run the football. We'd like to be balanced but we want to be a team that runs the football. I'm pleased. When you get into the second year of an offensive system there is a lot more comfort for the guys. They've been through it and been through games within our offense before. We are still a very, very young team but there is a little more comfort within the offense especially getting into game week now. Those slight adjustments during game week and from week to week, I hope there is more comfort with our guys this season than there was last season."

Mississippi State returns its leading receiver from 2010 in sophomore Chad Bumphis. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder hauled in 32 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran in another score earning Freshman All-SEC honors.

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