October 8, 2012

Finishing off early success

Mississippi State is off to a 5-0 start and ranked inside the top 20.

But the Bulldogs have not convincingly put away an opponent in the last four games despite gaining strong early leads.

"We get a lead on people, get up and take our foot off the gas a little bit," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "You can't do that. The positive is we're winning games and up big on people but what we have to do is continue to execute at a very high level and keep our focus throughout all 60 minutes even when we have a lead."

MSU has outscored its last four opponents - Auburn, Troy, South Alabama and Kentucky - 70-17 in the first half but are only winning the final two quarters by a slim 45-41 margin.

"Even when we've been up and start to slip a little bit, when we need to make plays we make plays," Mullen said. "We haven't really put people away but when we need to make plays we make the plays to continually win the game."

The Bulldogs followed that same recipe last Saturday in a 27-14 SEC road win at Kentucky. State jumped out to a 20-7 lead at halftime and put things on cruise control and tied the Wildcats 7-7 in the second half.

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