November 23, 2011

Dogs continue Egg Bowl prep

Mississippi State continued its Egg Bowl preparations Tuesday afternoon with what Dan Mullen referred to as the roughest and toughest day of practice.

With the university being closed this week for the Thanksgiving holiday it has allowed the Bulldogs to focus solely on their upcoming matchup with instate rival Ole Miss.

"Tuesdays are always the toughest days," Mullen said. "It's getting used to the plan and adapting to the different defense that you're going to see that you haven't seen in the past. But you know what, I thought our guys battled through and had a good day. For our guys there is no school this week so there's not really any other distractions or things to deal with so they can concentrate on football."

Mullen has been a key component in rejuvenating the Egg Bowl rivalry since his arrival for the 2009 season. The third year head coach used his "the school up north" phrase in the media for the first time Tuesday afternoon only after being asked specifically why he has not this week.

Mullen's emphasis in the rivalry did not take long to take root in the maroon and white faithful and is collectively the most important game of the season for most of the fan base.

"We wanted to make sure everyone understood how important this game is," Mullen said. "I think we did that the first day that we got here. We haven't changed our tune since that day. We've been consistent and that's how we approach the rivalry and approach the rivalry game. It's not just football, it's in all sports."

Since his hire in December of 2008, MSU sports a 17-9 record against the Rebels in the four major sports (baseball, football, men's and women's basketball). That dominance has caused the marketing department to create the "This is Our State" campaign that features not only sports but also the fact the last three Miss Mississippi winners have also hailed from Mississippi State.

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