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Monday Talk with Dan Mullen: So...about those powerful SEC defenses

 

 

 

Matt Stevens

 

STARKVILLE - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen isn't convinced Southeastern Conference games will continue to be high scoring shootouts.  

 

 

 

- Here are the final scores of some of the nationally relevant scores involving SEC schools:  

 

Clemson 38, Georgia 35 

 

Alabama 49, Texas A&M 42 

 

Ole Miss 44, Texas 23 

 

LSU 35, Auburn 21 

 

Georgia 44, LSU 41 

 

Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33 

 

Georgia 34, Tennessee 31 

 

LSU 59, Mississippi St. 26 

 

Auburn 30, Ole Miss 22 

 

South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28 

 

 

 

- In October 3, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops had some unkind things to say about SEC defenses after the national public ripped Big 12 defenses for the past few seasons.  

 

"A few years ago we [the Big 12] had all the quarterbacks and now all of a sudden we can play a little better defense and some other people can't play defense," Stoops said. "Funny how people can't play defense when there's pro-style quarterbacks over there." 

 

Mississippi State (2-3, 0-2 in SEC) is still currently fourth in the SEC in total defense even after allowing 59 points and 563 yards in a loss against LSU Saturday.  

 

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns on his way to being the SEC player of the week. He completed a career-high 25 passes on 29 attempts in engineering the Tiger offense to 563 total yards and eight touchdowns. His .860 completion percentage is the fourth-highest total for a QB in school history in a game with at least 20 attempts.  

 

"I think Zach is just playing just how we need him to play at home or on the road," LSU coach Les Miles said. "He's the leader. He's in charge of communication, and he's doing it extremely well. My opinion really one of those guys that are on the field just gives you advantages, not only with his arm, but with his mind and how he approaches the game." 

 

The 59 points were the most for the Tigers in an SEC game since scoring 63 against Kentucky in 1997. LSU has scored 30 points or more in all six games - a first in school history and have also gone over 400 yards of total offense in all six games, another first in LSU history. LSU outscored Mississippi State 31-3 in the second half after leading 28-23 at halftime.  

 

The SEC has only three schools in the Top 30 in total defense coming into Monday. However, the Bulldogs fifth-year head coach isn't convinced that defenses will eventually decide who is playing for the SEC title in Atlanta.  

 

"Don't be surprised before all is said and done you're going to see some defensive battles in this league that are going to be big time defensive battles in this league," Mullen said. "It's my ninth year in the league, I've seen offensive explosions. You've seen defensive years." 

 

 

 

 

 

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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