October 1, 2012

How Mullen spent the open date

Ever wonder what a head coach does during an open date?

When you're also the father of two small children like Dan Mullen, football goes on the backburner.

"I played with my son and my daughter, hung out with my wife, had a good time," Mullen said of his weekend. "I got to see some (football games), here and there. In-between eating dinner, playing catch and shooting some hoops."

One of the main games Mullen was keeping an eye on was the South Carolina-Kentucky matchup from Lexington. The Gamecocks would rally in the second half for a 38-17 victory but Mullen saw plenty of positives from his next opponent Kentucky.

When quarterback Maxwell Smith went down with an early injury, freshman Jalen Whitlow stepped in and completed 12-of-23 passing for 114 yards and two interceptions and also rushed for a score in his first extended action.

"He looked really athletic," Mullen said. "It will be interesting to know whether he is going to be the guy, it looks like he might be the third quarterback in three weeks. I haven't seen the injury report out of there, whether Smith is going to play or the other kids. But he looked pretty athletic and made some plays, against a South Carolina team that is in the top-six and they had a lead at halftime."

The trip to Commonwealth Stadium will be Mississippi State's first SEC road trip of the season. Mullen has won both of his previous two trips there with the Bulldogs and understands it will be a tough environment to play in just like it was for South Carolina last weekend.

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