By JOEL COLEMAN
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said during his weekly press conference on Monday that MSU’s defensive line played its best game of the season in Saturday’s 45-17 win over Troy.
No individual benefitted more from the play up front than senior defensive end Ryan Brown, who has been announced as the Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Week.
“It wasn’t just Ryan putting on a show out there on the field,” Mullen said. “It was our whole defensive line playing at another level and he’s the one that ended up with the best stats out of it because of what they were doing.”
MSU’s entire defense stifled Troy for much of Saturday’s contest. Mississippi State’s 15 total tackles for loss were the most since tallying the same amount against Alcorn State on Oct. 2, 2010. The Bulldogs were especially stingy in the first half, surrendering just 31 yards of total offense and limiting the Trojans to no gain or a loss on 17 of Troy’s 37 first-half plays.
Amidst the success, Brown put together a day with a career-high seven tackles to go along with a career-best 3.5 tackles for loss for negative-38 yards.
“I’m really blessed for this,” Brown said. “(The defensive line) just had that edge. Going into last week, we were mad that we couldn’t get (the Texas A&M) game back and we didn’t play to our potential. Just building off that, that’s what we wanted to do.”
Mullen gives injury updates
Several Bulldogs missed the Troy game battling injuries. Tight end Gus Walley missed his second-straight game dealing with a hand ailment. Wide receivers Joe Morrow and Gabe Myles as well as left tackle Rufus Warren missed Saturday’s action due to injuries sustained at Texas A&M the previous week.
Mullen updated the status of his injured players on Monday.
Walley and Warren are both expected back for this week’s tilt against Louisiana Tech.
Mullen said Morrow and Myles are both questionable and will probably be out a bit longer.
“Talking to trainers (on Sunday), they are both progressing,” Mullen said. “I think Gabe is probably a little ahead of Joe right now in progression getting ready to get back so he could be available this week but I don’t expect him to practice a whole lot. It’d be more of him getting ready at the end part of the week if he is cleared to go.”
Mullen discusses LA Tech
Boasting former Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel and the nation’s active career rushing leader in the form of running back Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech features plenty of offensive weapons coming into this week’s battle of two sets of Bulldogs.
Through only six games, Driskel has thrown for more yards (1,812) than in any single full season in his four years at Florida. Driskel is averaging 302 yards per game through the air and has thrown 11 touchdown passes.
Dixon averages 116.6 yards per game on the ground and has rushed for six touchdowns.
Mullen discussed slowing down the LA Tech offense on Monday.
“You’ve got to play sound,” Mullen said. “You’ve got to get to the football and be in your gap and be where you’re supposed to be. They have two great players and great players make plays over the course of the game. What you’ve got to do is just limit the number of big plays they make. You can’t let that become a big issue for you.”
MSU, Kentucky game time set
It was announced on Monday that Mississippi State’s Oct. 24 home game against Kentucky will be played under the lights. The Bulldogs and Wildcats are set for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.