Blog – Mullen, Sumlin talk on SEC teleconference

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin talked to the media on Wednesday’s Southeastern Conference teleconference about this week’s top 15 matchup at Davis Wade Stadium.

Here’s Mullen’s highlights –

Opening statement:

“We’re excited for this week’s game. Obviously it’s a great challenge for us with a team that’s one of the top teams in the nation coming in here to play us at home. We should have a great crowd, great excitement and pretty great atmosphere.”

“They’re going to be a great challenge for us. They’ve got an obviously very explosive offense, a top offense probably in the nation with skill players at every position. Deep skill players, not one or two. They’re deep at the skill positions, at receiver, enormous tight ends that are very athletic. One of the nation’s best offensive line. Great quarterback that makes plays and distributes the ball well. Gets the ball to the playmakers. Three running backs that can make things happen.”

“A much improved defense from where they were last year. I think they are one of the top pass rush, causing sacks and tackles for loss and big plays on the defensive side of the ball too.”

How have you challenged the offensive line this week:

“They’re a veteran group. He (Dillon Day) is out there as a great leader of our team. He’s out there motivating the guys. I know he wants to be out there on the field with them, so he’s out there motivating and helping them prepare and get ready.”

“We’ll move a couple of different guys around to be able to handle whatever’s going to face us during the game.”

How much will they miss Day and who will be at center:

“We’ve got a couple of different guys that we are going to mix in there, mix and match that stuff. Obviously Day’s a leader for us, team captain, but he’s done a good job this week to me of helping prepare the guys that have to play. We have to be prepared for multiple people to play that position and how they handle it in there for us. When you have a guy who’s been a three-year starter and a team captain, you’re going to miss him when he’s not out there playing.”

Big weekend for Mississippi:

“We came here to build a winning program and I think we’ve been able to do that and consistently win and put ourselves in a great position. I think it’s fantastic. It’s great for the state of Mississippi and everybody that lives here because they take a lot of pride in football in this state.”

If you had a preference, how would you want this game to go:

“I’m great either way. I think our guys can play either style. For us it’s all about one more point than they score. I don’t see it being a low scoring kind of battle in the trenches.”

Here’s Sumlin’s highlights –

Opening statement:

“I think we had a real exciting ballgame last week. A lot of leadership out of our older players to kind of pull us through some difficult situations through the middle of the game. A lot of of our younger players I think now understand the intensity level that it takes to play in this league. That’s something that really has to come through that type of an atmosphere and that type of a ballgame. Hopefully that was a real learning experience for our younger players and kind of gives some creditability to our older players moving forward because we’re going to need them against a red hot Mississippi State team that’s won seven ballgames in a row and over 500 yards every week. It will be a great atmosphere again this week and a tremendous challenge for us.”

What characteristics do you see Dan Mullen QBs having:

“Dak is a guy that is a tremendous dual threat guy. Their running game is really accentuated with the addition of the quarterback run threat. There are certain running backs that can run for first downs and there’s others that can run for touchdowns. He’s proven he can do that. It puts pressure on you. They know what they’re doing offensively.”

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