November 11, 2010

Mullen talking Crimson Tide

It's difficult to tell how any team will respond when faced with tragedy such as what Mississippi State has faced over the past week and a half.

The Bulldogs returned to the practice fields this week in the wake of the death of sophomore defensive end Nick Bell. Head coach Dan Mullen feels his team has kept their focus as they continue their preparations for defending national champion Alabama.

"It's been a tough go but our team has responded," Mullen said. "I've been really pleased with the way they've been preparing for the game this week and the focus that they've had getting ready to play a big time football game despite all the things that have gone on."

One aspect that makes the Crimson Tide so dangerous offensively is their power running game led by junior Mark Ingram and sophomore Trent Richardson. That duo has combined for 1,275 yards and 14 touchdown on the ground this year for the Tide.

"It's the one-two combination that they have who are very, very talented players and can both wear you down for four quarters," Mullen said. "You are never getting a break. Trent Richardson is a very, very talented guy and when he comes off the field and you think you might get a breather and then the Heisman Trophy winner takes the field. That's the toughest thing is that they are constantly attacking you from the tailback position."

MSU likes to run the ball as well. The Bulldogs are third in the Southeastern Conference averaging 218.7 yards per game on the ground. The Crimson Tide have been fairly stingy against the run this season allowing opponents 125.8 yards a contest with a solid front seven.

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