October 12, 2009

Mullen reflects on latest loss

Surrendering 553 yards and 31 points is unacceptable even to the top offense in the country according to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.

The Bulldogs 31-24 weekend setback to Houston was a combination of more turnovers and a lack of consistent execution on the defensive side of the ball.

However Mullen did find some positives on Sunday about his defense after reviewing the film.

"I thought our red zone defense was really good," Mullen said. "They had seven possessions in the red zone and we came away with an interception, blocked field goal, gave up a field goal and four touchdowns. The issue I have with the defense is we only had two three and outs and 17 missed tackles and the fact we had seven red zone possessions. We gave up way too much between the twenties to give up those red zone possessions."

MSU also struggled with the Conference USA officiating crew that called their game. The Bulldogs were flagged eight times for 60 yards but Houston's first penalty flag was not thrown until there were 7:29 remaining in the game. The crew also lost track of downs in the first quarter, called back Anthony Dixon's game-tying touchdown run in the fourth quarter on a questionable holding call by Arnil Stalloworth and also threw a flag after Tyson Lee converted a fourth-down play that would have set up first and goal ruling that he threw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.

Mullen did not challenge any of the calls on Saturday but after reviewing the film had some concerns, especially on the fourth down play involving whether or not Lee was past the line of scrimmage when he released the ball.

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