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August 25, 2011

Game week begins

Dan Mullen is missing out on the weekend. Today is Thursday, but tomorrow is Sunday in his book. Friday and Saturday are gone.

With the season-opener against Memphis next Thursday, everything in game week is moved up two days, meaning tomorrow is the official beginning to game week for Mullen and the Bulldogs.

"Good day today," Mullen said. "This is really the last transition day for us, so now it's all game focused. Everything now is kind of getting in game week. Sunday is tomorrow and you get into game week mentality at this point."

While tomorrow is the official beginning of game week, it actually means a slower tempo than Mississippi State has been used to, as Sunday is typically the day after a game.

"Tomorrow, because it's a Sunday practice, it'll just be helmets," Mullen said. "We're gonna introduce the base. It'll be a scouting report. Introduce some base things. Sunday practices are usually a little bit lighter. Half the practice is going to be dedicated to a game simulation for us where we simulate everything from how we get in the locker room, how we warm up, everything."

Just in time for game preparation, Memphis named their starting quarterback in sophomore Andy Summerlin.

Mullen said he doesn't know much about him, but he'll figure out what he can and prepare for the Tigers.

"Not a whole lot," Mullen said. "Like I said, you would look at him in general. He didn't play a whole lot last year, so we're just gonna have to go off what we read a little bit."

Interestingly, Mullen may actually learn more the day after the game.

He said he and Memphis coach Larry Porter talked earlier this summer when they were asked if they were OK with playing the game on a Thursday. After agreeing to the change of date, Mullen told Porter he'd like to talk with him after the game about each other's teams since this is the last scheduled game in the MSU-Memphis series.

"I told him I think he's doing a great job and I'd love Friday to get up after the game, talk and say this is what we saw out of you guys, this what we're trying to attack and this is where we thought you had advantage on us and talk about maybe the strengths and weaknesses that we don't always see because we're always around our guys," Mullen said. "Just tendencies that we always see because they're rolling off the schedule now."

Mullen said the two saw each other plenty when they were both assistant coaches, particularly in Houston. As an assistant at Utah and Florida, Mullen was in charge of recruiting the Houston area, a region Porter frequented, as well.

As Mullen prepares to face Porter, he is putting the final touches on a depth chart that he says will remain in flux even after it is announced.

"Our battles go on every week. They go from week to week," Mullen said. "Everybody's battling for the job next week right now. You have a bad day at practice, somebody else could jump in front of you. You have a bad game, someone else could jump in front of you. We all love competition."


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