October 12, 2011

Mullen talking South Carolina

At the midway point of the season Mississippi State is still in search of its first Southeastern Conference win.

Even though the Bulldogs evened their record last week to 3-3 they remain 0-3 in league play. But MSU has an opportunity to change that mark this weekend hosting South Carolina for the first SEC Saturday contest at Davis Wade Stadium.

"It was obviously great getting a win last week," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "I think that always helps trying to get momentum as we go into the second half of the season. Really this is the end of the first half of the season as we get a bye week following to rest. It's really important for us to get a win this week and get our first SEC win of the year. Obviously it will be a great challenge over a team as good as South Carolina."

Of course a victory over the 5-1 Gamecocks will not come easily. South Carolina's offense is one of the most potent in the conference averaging 416.5 yards and 35.5 points. They have featured a balanced attack of 212.5 yards on the ground and another 204 through the air.

"They've been balanced throughout the year," Mullen said. "They are averaging just a little over 200 yards passing and a little over 200 yards rushing. I think they are actually rushing for more yards than they are passing which shows a good balance in a team. It shows that they are a running football team. You watch them run a lot of spread option football on the field last week. Then they have the quarterbacks and the receivers to throw and catch the ball which allows you to have that balance."

The Gamecocks have two of the SEC's top offensive weapons in sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore and junior wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Lattimore is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and leads the league with 129.8 yards a contest. Jeffery is the fifth in the conference averaging 17.1 yards per catch and 73 yards a game.

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