October 5, 2009

Mullen's Monday press conference

With most of the students away from campus for fall break the next two days, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and his players will take advantage of the deserted campus to get some extra work done.

The Bulldogs changed up their practice routine this week taking Sunday off and will take to the practice fields this afternoon for a workout in helmets only getting ready for a dangerous Houston offense for homecoming on Saturday.

"Hopefully, with school being out for the next two days, we'll get a little jump start on prepping for Houston," Mullen said. "We'll have our hands full this week, with one of the top offensive teams in the country coming to town. This will be a unique challenge for us, and Houston is coming off a tough loss last week, but the week before everyone was saying they should be a top 10 team. I know in their minds, they still think they should be and you watch them on film they still have the same potential they've possessed all season."

The Cougars are coming off a 58-41 shootout loss last week at UTEP and are 3-1 on the year averaging 42.5 points and 573.2 yards per game.

Much of Houston's success weighs on the shoulders of junior quarterback Case Keenum. Keenum has completed 68.6-percent of his passes for 1,695 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions this season as well as running for three more scores.

With Mullen's eye for talent at the quarterback position, he appreciates the talent that Keenum possesses for the Cougars and the challenges that come along with trying to defend it.

"He's like all the great quarterbacks, in that he is a winner," Mullen said. "You watch him on film and when the game's on-the-line he makes the plays to win. He's a very accurate passer and good at reading defenses. That's exactly what you want in quarterbacks."

With all of Houston's success on offense, the defense has shown signs of weakness allowing opponents on average of 32 points and 440.5 yards per game. The Cougars are surrendering 235.8 yards passing and another 204.8 on the ground each week to their opposition.

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