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Pre-game Monday: Mullen has no comment on being 24-point underdogs at No. 1 Alabama




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University head coach Dan Mullen doesn't want to talk about the oddsmakers line of his high profile game at the University of Alabama this Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPN). 


Unless it means more points on the scoreboard before the game is kicked off. Then the fourth-year Bulldogs coach might just pay attention to the largest spread against his program if of course that means No. 13 MSU (7-0, 3-0 in Southeastern Conference) started with an advantage at kickoff.  


"I don't put any money on games, so that doesn't really affect me," Mullen said Monday. "I'd feel great if we walked in the stadium and it said 24-0 before the game started. (If) they're going to spot us those point before we start, I feel great, but because I don't bet it doesn't really affect me too much." 


So of course what is important:  


- Mullen has mentioned the recruiting success of Alabama each of the last three days he has discussed the No. 1 Crimson Tide, who have finished 7th, 7th, 4th and 2nd in the nation in team recruiting standings according to Scout.com the last four years, as why they are so dominant on both sides of the ball.  


Therefore, The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog asked Mullen to analyze the possible line of thinking that MSU is coming to Tuscaloosa this week with its two and three-star recruits from Mississippi against Alabama's ready-made four and five-star players.  


"It's a product of your environment in some ways," Mullen said. "They get top prospects around the country automatically. It's neat. I've been at some schools that, when you walk in if you have a certain logo on your shirt, you can go to Alaska and everyone wants to hear what you have to say. They have that there with the tradition they have Hopefully one day here we have that type of tradition and we build our program that way." 


I'll have a feature on this topic coming in Tuesday's edition of the The Dispatch.  




- Mullen was also asked if there's any extra importance to the week, similarly to the hype surrounding Egg Bowl week, the answer was simple: no. 


"It's a big game, but I'll be honest with you, if we practice and prepare really well, there's a chance we'll play really well," Mullen said. "You play as you prepare. For us hopefully our goal is we needed to prepare a little better last week than we did the week before, and we were able to do that. We need to prepare better this week than we did last week so we can continue improving in every facet. If we do that, we're going to have an opportunity to win. If we don't, we don't prepare very well at practice, we're not going to play very well." 




- The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will also have a feature in Tuesday's edition on the physicality of the matchup with Alabama as both teams are both consistent in running the football and stopping the run on defense. 


"Alabama is a physical team and we like those games," Mullen said. "We like to consider ourselves somewhat of a physical program as well and you're going to line it up and punch each other in the face. Our guys like those type of games. That matchup part of it I kind of like. When it gets down to being physical and tough, we like those type of games." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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