Tuesday Bulldog Football Notebook Update

Giving his team Monday off might have dulled Mississippi State's edge, at least initially. But then on the whole Coach Dan Mullen found little else to critique about Tuesday's return to practicing for the non-conference matchup with Alcorn State.

"We had a good day," Mullen said following the full-pads session. "We came back out and started a little slow today but I like the way we finished. We picked it up as the day went on."

Per the head coach the weekend roster should be picking up one member of the lineup, as TE Brandon Henderson (left knee) practiced. DT Fletcher Cox (sprained ankle) and TE Marcus Green did not, though. "Fletcher we're still protecting a little bit. Marcus ran yesterday and swelled up so he did the late running today. We held him to that. But everybody else I think pretty much went today."

It would have been surprising had Mississippi State been full-blast from today's start, since they had Monday off to take care of a heavy academic schedule as well as come all the way down from their 24-12 victory over Georgia. So this practice regimen has been helpful in getting a big win out of the State system, and turning attention to Alcorn State (11:00 am, FSN). The natural concern would seem making the emotional transition from a SEC showdown to an opponent typically signed for a home field victory.

Not, of course, that Mullen is uttering such notions. To hear him talk Tuesday the Bulldogs are getting ready to host a powerhouse. An undefeated club, too, which has put 50, 27, and 41 points on the scoreboards so far.

"We got to watch them on film," Mullen said. "They're 3-0, very, very well coached, a very disciplined team. You can see that in the little things. It's a team that has scored six non-offensive touchdowns, they have a safety this year. They do all the little things right, and it makes them a very dangerous opponent. Their kids play hard in all three phases and it's going to be a tough game."

Certainly State's defense is not thrilled about having to chase another quarterback around the way they did with Auburn and LSU. The stats and lineups provided by ASU show both frosh Brandon Bridge and senior Terrance Barnes as starters, obviously not at the same time, so the MSU defensive staff will be guessing going into the first series. Bridge is the passer of the pair, with 54% completions for two touchdowns in his three games; but has also run for 153 yards and two more scores. Barnes is just 9-of-17 throwing and has rushed for two touchdowns.

State's hunch is to prep for the younger triggerman. "Yeah, he's pretty athletic, you watch him run around and make plays," Mullen said. "Against Alabama State he had a couple of big runs. We have to do a good job containing him and make him throw from the pocket."

Mississippi State will ease off on the contact practicing Wednesday and finalize installation on both sides of the ball.

Also, Lt. General Russel Honore (Ret), who was commander of the joint task force in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, will speak to the Bulldogs prior to Wednesday's practice. The general is on campus for an appearance at Lee Hall sponsored by the College of Business and Campus Activities Board.


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