August 5, 2009 8:53:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen''s face lit up when he heard the news.
Mississippi State announced Tuesday it has set a school record in season-ticket sales, and finished the day at 38,469. That total includes 10,000 student tickets that will go on sale when classes begin on Aug. 17.
Although Mullen is pleased about the new record, he won''t be satisfied until his goal of 40,000 season tickets sold has been met. He plans to keep promoting until it happens.
"I''m pretty demanding, as you saw with the spring game, so 1,500 (fans) had better get out and buy their season tickets (today)," Mullen said.
The previous record for season tickets sold of 38,440 was set in 2001. That came after four consecutive winning seasons and three bowl trips in a row.
The Bulldogs have had only one winning season in their past eight.
Mullen''s hiring and an attractive seven-game home schedule appears to have fueled the ticket drive.
Mississippi State kicks off the season Sept. 5 against Jackson State at Davis-Wade Stadium. It''s the first time a Southeastern Conference school has played a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent.
Other home games are against LSU on Sept. 26, Georgia Tech on Oct. 3, Houston on Oct. 10, defending national champion Florida on Oct. 24, Alabama on Nov. 14, and Ole Miss on Nov. 28.
Single-game tickets to the Alabama game are sold out, and the LSU game is close to being a sellout.
Good crowds have been at the practice fields the past two days to watch the Bulldogs work out. An estimated 250 fans watched Tuesday.
"That''s what makes college football college football," MSU senior quarterback Tyson Lee, of Columbus, said. "When I was growing up, that''s how it was for me.
"The more excitement the fans bring, the more excitement there is for us. I tell people all the time that football wouldn''t be what it is if it weren''t for the fans. I love it, and we''re appreciative of the support, and we can''t wait for the season to get here."