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Sunday Talk with Dan Mullen - Mullen on Saturday's loss vs. A&M: 'That's on me'

 

 

Matt Stevens

 

STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University head coach Dan Mullen continues to ask for the full blame on several fundamental mistakes made in the Bulldogs 38-13 loss at Davis Wade Stadium.  

 

Normally the MSU coaching staff counts and breaks down the amount of missed tackles from the previous game's film and so The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog asked him Sunday during his media teleconference to ballpark the number. The answer continued the refrain that the players weren't in the correct position by the MSU staff to make those plays.  

 

"Not on one individual player but we had a lot of missed tackles on a lot of different players," Mullen said. "So, that's on me making sure we have the guys in the right position to make those tackles." 

 

When asked to point out specifics to why the players weren't in the correct spots, Mullen continued to stress it was a mixture of everything going wrong on Saturday. 

 

"A lot of things were out of fits," Mullen said. "We were misaligned a bunch of times 

 

and had some poor calls. If you have poor assignments, poor fundamentals and poor calls, that's not going to result very well. That's on me to make sure we have the guys in the right position, in the right defense and executing the right way." 

 

 

 

Here's is the full Q&A transcript as Mullen addressed in the 7-minute conversation with reporters Sunday afternoon:  

 

 

 

Opening statement: "Obviously gotta come back from this game and playing down at LSU at night is a tough assignment. I think you saw last night (against Alabama) what kind of quality team they are so I think we'll have our hands full and we have to come back with a great week of practice to play another tough SEC game." 

 

 

 

Q: Dan, how many missed tackles did you see on the film, especially missed tackles on (Texas A&M quarterback) Johnny Manziel? 

 

 

 

"Not on one individual player but we had a lot of missed tackles on a lot of different players. So, that's on me making sure we have the guys in the right position to make those tackles." 

 

 

 

Q: But how many of those were guys in the right position to make the play and then just missed it? Or was it a mix of the two scenarios? 

 

 

 

"No it always a mix of the two and other things. You got to go run through tackles to make them and we did a little too much pulling up early." 

 

 

 

Q: When you watched the film, what sort of things stuck out on position wise and not just the missed tackles? Was the defensive line breaking down at points? 

 

 

 

"A lot of things were out of fits. We were misaligned a bunch of times and had some poor calls. If you have poor assignments, poor fundamentals and poor calls, that's not going to result very well. 

 

That's on me to make sure we have the guys in the right position, in the right defense and executing the right way." 

 

 

 

Q: What's the attitude of the players of the players when you have to 

 

get these guys up for another very big game at Baton Rouge? 

 

 

 

"Well, that's why you come here to play in these games. Believe it or not, we're two 7-2 teams going to play here in the middle of November on Saturday night in Baton Rouge so that makes it a pretty big game at this time of the season. If you can't get up for it then you got a lot of problems. You must not love football." 

 

 

 

Q: Thoughts on the offense and specifically on Tyler Russell's performance? 

 

 

 

"Yeah we didn't execute very well at all on that side of the ball and had a lot of mistakes, especially early in the game. We cleaned some things up as the game went along but they were things you just can't do in order to win those games. We had two red zone possessions and came away with no scores. If we score on those, I think we're looking at a completely different game and that's just looking at it from one aspect of it. Offensively there's a lot of things we have to get cleaned up." 

 

 

 

Q: Do you consider through the week looking at the offensive line and especially the tackle position to rework some things personnel wise? 

 

 

 

"Nope. We don't get panicked about all this stuff. We just have to improve, coach them and get them better and ready to play." 

 

 

 

Q: What's been the key issue to the offense not scoring points? 

 

 

 

"Number one is red zone scoring because we're not executing at a high level in the red zone. That probably stands out to me more than anything." 

 

 

 

Q: How do you feel the offensive line, especially along the edges, have held up with LSU coming with (defensive end) Sam Montgomery this week? 

 

 

 

"They got more than one (LAUGH). They got a whole bunch of them on the edge there. I think they've held up and done a pretty good job. What'd they have, one sack (allowed) yesterday? When you look at in those terms of things, they're holding up and getting the job done." 

 

 

 

Q: Thoughts on LSU's secondary? 

 

 

 

"They're one of the top defenses and one of the top teams in the country. That was evident in what I got to see of that game (against Alabama) last night. For us, we're always going to have our hands full and it'll be a great challenge. When you're playing one of the best teams in the country, you're going to have to make plays." 

 

 

 

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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