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Monday Talk with Dan Mullen - injuries, play calling and South Carolina matchup




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Dan Mullen forgot his piece of paper with the injuries to his football team on it. 


So, MSU's fifth-year head coach spent the first few minutes trying to recall the injury report from memory and this is what he came up with as the Bulldogs (4-3, 1-2 in Southeastern Conference) travel to face No. 14 South Carolina (6-2, 4-2 in SEC):  




Senior offensive guard Tobias Smith, who was never on the roster in fall camp or during the season: "Out". 


Junior offensive guard Justin Malone: "Out". 


Junior safety Jay Hughes: "Out". 


Junior linebacker Ferlando Bohanna: "Out". 


Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Washington: "Out".  


Redshirt freshman defensive end Torrey Dale: "Out" 


Junior tight end Brandon Hill: "Out" with a undisclosed injury 


Redshirt freshman wide receiver Brandon Holloway ""will be limited at practice, should be able to play" 


Senior quarterback Tyler Russell "limited at practice, should be able to play".  


Junior wide receiver Jeremy Chappelle "limited at practice should be able to play." 




"There's a bunch more that are limited for practice but I think they all are expected to play," Mullen said.  




Here's some other noteworthy items learned from Mullen's Monday media conference:  




- Mullen discussed his high praise for Spurrier as he was trying to establish himself as a young coach in Division 1 football. 


"Yeah, I was a big fan of his growing up," Mullen said. "I never met him until I was coaching at Florida I don't think, I don't know how much he influenced my coaching deal but I always was a big fan of his growing up. Like their style of offense and what they, they were spreading it out all over the field, in the shotgun throwing it a bunch. I always thought that was pretty cool." 




- The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog asked Mullen about South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw. Sick and limited with a shoulder injury this week, Shaw (20-of-29, 201 passing yards, three touchdowns) took the field in the third quarter to relieve the struggling Dylan Thompson. Trailing 17-0, Shaw led the Gamecocks to 17 unanswered points to tie the game with 42 seconds remaining. South Carolina would eventually give Missouri its first loss of the season 27-24 in overtime.  


"Last week it was completely evident the type of player he is watching that game and what he means to that team. Now, sometimes they don't make him put up huge numbers, they don't need to. But as any great quarterback I think he manages the game extremely well. People use that in a negative term, I use that as he does what he needs to do for his team to win the game. If it's run the ball he runs it, if it's hand it off he hands it off. I'm sure if they needed to for him to win a game he'll go throw for 500 yards and won't complain about it either. That to me is a manager and a winner at the quarterback position, and he does that very,very well." 




- The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog asked Mullen about leading the SEC in turnovers allowed this season. The Bulldogs have only committed seven turnovers through six games, which is also tied for tied for second in the nation. I'll have a feature on this in Tuesday's Dispatch but Mullen seemed less than impressed with the feat.  


"There you go with stats right there," Mullen said. "Six turnovers in seven games seems like a lot for me. We'd like to have zero per game, our goal is zero which we haven't hit many times this year. If there is a category that you do want to lead in, I do like that. It shows we take care of the football. "All our quarterbacks, we tell them their job is to take care of the football We don't have a goal that says don't punt. We do have a goal that says don't turn the ball over. Personally I don't like punting, but I hate turning the ball over. There's a big difference between the two. I think our guys understand that." 




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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