September 26, 2011

Mullen vows to get things fixed

Mississippi State may not have had its best showing Saturday but the Bulldogs pulled themselves together enough in the late goings to walk away with a 26-20 overtime win over Louisiana Tech.

The victory evened MSU's record to 2-2 on the year and ended a two-game losing skid.

"It's great to get a win anytime you can do it, especially in a tough environment," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "To battle the way that we did in an overtime win is exciting. You've got to make plays in key moments of the game and our guys made those plays. We've got a lot of ways to improve on offense, defense and even the kicking game so we need to continue to improve this next week as well as throughout the season."

After a record setting night in the opener, the Bulldogs offense has been in a steady decline. Against LSU State mustered just 52 yards rushing and last week against Louisiana Tech the passing game was limited to just 164.

Mullen feels that the biggest area the Bulldogs need to improve is their red zone scoring. Currently Mississippi State has scored on 13 of its 15 trips (87-percent) inside the 20-yard line. But only six or 40-percent of those trips have been touchdowns.

"We have a bunch of things that we need to fix up," Mullen said. "But we haven't hit a panic button and we're not scrapping anything that we're doing right now. We just have to execute better. So far this year in the red zone we've left 42 points out there on the field. That's over 10 points a game if you look at not scoring and field goals over touchdowns. If there's one part that we need to get better in that we've really got to clean up is the red zone scoring on offense so that we're getting touchdowns and not field goals."

The Bulldogs have some gaps to continually work on defensively as well. MSU has only surrendered 10 touchdowns in four games but are giving up 359.8 yards and 23.5 points per game on average.

Mullen equates part of the defensive inadequacies to losing players like Pernell McPhee, K.J. Wright and Chris White to the NFL in the offseason.

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