November 4, 2009

Bulldogs take momentum into bye week

A win always makes everything better.

According to head coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi State's 31-24 victory on the road last week at Kentucky has increased the Bulldogs spirits as the enter an important bye week.

"Obviously anytime you can get a big win going into an open date kind of boosts moral for that entire week of practice," Mullen said. "After playing nine consecutive games I thought our team was ready for a breather. We have the opportunity to get mentally and physically healthy this week and for our coaches to go out and work on our fundamentals to get us prepared to get caught up on recruiting. I think our team came out and had a great practice yesterday after a couple of days off and we will practice the next two days and give them the weekend off."

MSU had dropped four of its last five games by a margin of 11 points or less but the win over the Wildcats improved their record to 4-5 on the season and 2-3 inside the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs have to win two of their last three contests to become bowl eligible.

"I think that was a huge step for us going in the right direction," Mullen said. "I don't know where we rank schedule-wise in the nation compared to other people's schedules but it seems like the majority of our losses have come to teams in the Top 15. Our guys have played with those teams but have not come out on top. Coach Rich Brooks has done a good job getting his team to consecutive bowl games and we went on the road in a tough environment on a Saturday night and continued to fight. It was very similar to some of the other games that we came up just short on. But it gives our guys a look that we have possibly turned the corner and have learned how to win those tight games and make that play at the end to push us out on top."

State has already matched it's win total from 2008 and have improved dramatically on offense under Mullen's spread attack. The Bulldogs are averaging 108.7 more yards and 11.2 more points per game than last year. They havealso increased their rushing attack by 117.5 yards a contest.



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