Tough loss; but Mullen is building the program

By now, you've probably either seen the game or a few clips.  LSU's defense was stout and the offense played well in a 19-6 victory in Starkville last night.  With the loss, Mississippi State falls to 1-2 (0-2 in the West).

We could talk ball all day long; but in this article we're focusing on how Dan Mullen is building that program.

In December 2008 Mullen was hired to take that program to the next level.  At the time, the program was struggling, wallowing even.  Perennially finishing 5th or 6th in the West (from 2001 - 2008 they only won more than 4 games one time).  

Mullen's job wasn't just to win games and he knew it and has embraced it.  He set out to do what some consider impossible, to bring championships to Starkville, MS.  

Wednesday night, the University hosted what they called a "Cowbell Yell".  Take a look at the video below and see how many people were out there (and this was around 11pm the night before the game).  That's a pretty good indication that Mullen's got the program headed in the right direction.  

If you watch the entire thing (or simply jump to the 1:40 mark), you'll hear Mullen get the crowd going when he says, "All of us together can win that championship...and that is the vision as you look around this stadium tonight, you look at the atmosphere we've created, the belief in everyone of our student bodies that we're not arrogant, maybe we're just better than you!"  


In his post game presser, Mullen starts off acknowledging that they, "got our butts kicked tonight".  But throughout the presser you hear him focusing on the long term development of the program...and he's right.  They are on the right path. We've never seen this much excitement surrounding the Mississippi State football program.  


It was 29-0 before we ran our 1st offensive play

Last Friday Pulaski Academy (AR) played at Cabot High (AR), a quality opponent.  Pulaski, you might know, is coached by Kevin Kelley (yes, he of the "We don't punt" fame).  

Kelley hits the circuit quite frequently to discuss his beliefs.  Some of the more prominent ones are that he believes that you will have greater success if your offense knows that it will go for it on every 4th down it faces (he has statistics that in his mind support this).  He also professes use of the onside kick (he says he has 12 different onside kick varieties in his playbook).  There's plenty more to it, just google around a little.

So, this past weekend, at Cabot....

Pulaski scored on it's first drive.  Onside kick...recovered.  Offense then gets another touchdown.  Onside kick...recovered.  Offense gets another touchdown.  Onside kick....recovered.  Offense gets another touchdown.  

At this point it's 29-0 and there's still 8:35 left on the clock in the 1st quarter.  Cabot calls a timeout before the next kickoff.

This time, Cabot recovers...thank goodness.  The offense then trots out for it's first play, down 29-0.  Ouch.

Pulaski wound up winning 64-34.  

Below is video of each of the 9 onside kicks Pulaski attempted during this one game.


Jon Wertheim of SI.com has a good article about the game and Coach Kelley's beliefs

Programs with the most players in the League

Looking at opening day rosters of all 32 NFL teams, the 5 programs with the most active players were:

Miami with 42 

USC with 41

Texas with 40

Tennessee with 36

LSU with 35

We noted that LSU is tied for the most defensive tackles with 5.  

Side note> Did anyone else see #56 the true freshman DT Anthony Johnson?  We now understand why they call him the Freak...quick off the ball and strong finish.  

Bill Belichick: A Football Life

The NFL Network rolled out it's new series last night in which they filmed and mic'd up Bill Belichick for an entire season, on and off the field...Bill Belichick: A Football Life.

We caught a little bit of it and we've seen a number of people comment about...everything positive.  

This show is going to be a huge hit.  The clips that we saw showed great insight into his thinking, teaching and motivating.  

Naturally, there are going to be some things caught on mic that some viewers wouldn't consider appropriate for young viewers; but this show isn't produced for young viewers.  

The first episode ran last night and the next one debuts next Thursday...but we're quite positive the NFL Network will be re-running often in between (in fact we hear they have cleared a spot today at 4PM EST for it).  You can see a few short clips on their website here.  

Below is a clip showing a game day interaction between Belichick and Ravens receiver Derek Mason.  This clip is getting a lot of pub in the twitter world this morning for it's shock factor; but the actual show has far better content than this...stuff coaches will enjoy.  




Great pick last night

LSU corner, Mo Claiborne is a player.  As a sophomore last season, he started opposite Patrick Peterson...and led the team with 5 interceptions and 11 passes defended.  

In the game last season versus Mississippi State, Claiborne had two interceptions.  

Fast forward to last night...3rd quarter and Mississippi State tries to go down the field for the first time; but Claiborne makes an outstanding play on the ball.  

Claiborne wound up making another pick late in the 4th quarter.  Two years in a row with 2 picks vs. State.  

Credit defensive backs coach Ron Cooper and coordinator John Chavis for putting their athletes in positions to make plays. The Tigers' defense was impressive last night.  The Tigers also had 15 tackles for loss last night (that's sick...most for the team in over 10 years). 

Watch the highlight from ESPN below if you haven't already seen it (the second play they show in this video) and then watch how he describes it (sounds like a young man you want to have playing Cornerback for your team).


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