August 27, 2012

Monday with Mullen

With the beginning of each new season there is plenty to be enthusiastic about.

No team has a blemish on their record and there is a sense of anticipation of what the next few months can hold. That excitement has not skipped the Mississippi State campus either.

Dan Mullen and his Bulldogs are eagerly counting down the days and hours until their season opening kickoff against Jackson State on Saturday.

"We're really excited obviously," Mullen said. "This is the start of the season. This is what we work all year for these 12, 13 and hopefully 14 opportunities for us to go play games. I can't wait. I know our guys are ready to get out there this week to go play Jackson State."

It was those same Tigers of Jackson State that Mullen made his MSU debut four years ago. Mullen earned his first victory as a head coach with a 45-7 victory.

That 2009 game marked the first time a Southeastern Conference school had played a team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference on the gridiron. It was also an historic first meeting between the two Magnolia State programs.

"It's a fun rivalry for people in our state," Mullen said. "That's why I love to go play this game. There is a passionate fan base on both sides. It's a very successful program. Looking at them, I wouldn't be shocked if they won the SWAC Championship this year. Their fan base gets to come up and play here. I know a lot of these guys have played against each other and fans know guys from their hometown on both teams. That makes it a really fun game for us."

Jackson State posted a 9-2 record in 2011 and return much of their defense that held opponents to 284.1 yards and 15.3 points per game last year.

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