December 19, 2012

Mullen pleased with bowl preparation

This week Mississippi State has been practicing inside Davis Wade Stadium this week, the site of six of their eight wins this season.

The Bulldogs have one practice remaining in Starkville before breaking for Christmas and reuniting Dec. 26 in Jacksonville, Fla., to finish up preparations for their New Year's Day Gator Bowl matchup with Northwestern.

Last week MSU's practices were primarily focused on developing younger players. But starting Monday the attention has shifted towards game prep for the Wildcats.

"We've had pretty solid practices," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "I've liked the transition, obviously back into game prep. And it's always a great week now in our schedule is try to get ready to play the game like it's this Saturday. I think our guys have done that, had the good focus, good preparation. We've got to clean up some things tomorrow out there before we leave. But at that point hopefully we're ready to play the game. And then you get the confidence builder when you get to the bowl of reviewing basically the whole bowl practice week again."

With the attention turned towards the bowl game, junior quarterback Tyler Russell has also returned to work after nursing an ankle injury suffered in the regular season finale against Ole Miss.

"Tyler looked good," Mullen said. "He's thrown throughout the whole time. You know what, actually he was average today, he missed a couple of throws today, made a couple of missed reads. But he's been pretty good all week. But as he said, he's a guy that's played some football, so he knows he's got some time to get some things cleaned-up. And you're always going to add a couple of new wrinkles for the bowl game so we'll get some of those things cleaned-up tomorrow."

One blow the Bulldogs suffered this postseason was losing backup running back Nick Griffin to an ACL tear. The sophomore was third on the team with 32 carries for 223 yards and one touchdown on the year.

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