September 8, 2010

Mullen talking SEC opener

Dan Mullen was thrilled with Mississippi State's performance in their 49-7 season opening win over Memphis last week.

But the second year head coach understands that Thursday night's contest with Auburn brings a little something extra as the Bulldogs begin their Southeastern Conference schedule.

"There's nothing like SEC openers," Mullen said. "It was a great weekend and I thought we played well in our season opener but when you start conference play, to me, that's when it starts for real. These are when the games count. Our goal is to try to win the SEC West and these are the games that matter in those situations. We expect a great crowd and a great environment and hopefully it's a showcase game on national television."

MSU's defense under co-coordinators Manny Diaz and Chris Wilson was dominant against the Tigers this past Saturday holding them to just 237 yards.

"I was pleased with our defensive performance," Mullen said. "Myself personally I have always been an offensive guy but our program, for us to be a successful championship program, is going to be built on defense. If you look in the past at all the great Mississippi State teams, those teams in the past have always been built on great defense and we're not going to change that."

The Bulldogs will look to redeem themselves against Auburn defensively. The Tigers totaled 589 yards of offense against the read and react style of former defensive coordinator Carl Torbush.

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