September 25, 2012

Bulldogs return during bye week

Mississippi State resumed practice for the first time since Saturday's 30-10 victory over South Alabama.

The Bulldogs have an open date this week which allowed the team to focus more on fundamentals than certain schemes for their opponents.

"Today we went a longer practice than what we normally do on a game week," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "A lot of that is we expanded to get some more individual work in. There's a lot of stuff that when you get into game week you don't get to do at practice or it gets shortened down. We've expanded on those things. There's a bunch of guys who aren't taking live reps and we're going to force more players to go earn more plays on Saturdays and show what they can do."

The Bulldogs have started the season off at 4-0 and have won six straight dating back to last year. State has climbed to No. 21 in the polls but have done so without as much celebration as in the past few years when winning was not the norm in Starkville.

"It almost feels like this was expected which is actually good," Mullen said. "I like that type of feeling. Not that our fans, our student body or our team takes it for granted. Four years ago if we had started off 4-0 the feeling would be a lot different than starting off 4-0 right now. I still feel like it's a pretty big deal. It's what we wanted as a team and this is where I planned us to be."

The bye week will allow junior quarterback Tyler Russell to work out some kinks which were evident from Saturday's game. Russell completed just 13-of-27 passing for 171 yards, no touchdowns and his first interception of the year.

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