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  • Mississippi State's Mullen sees a stiff test ahead in Kentucky

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    Kentucky takes a 5-1 mark into Saturday afternoon's game at Mississippi State coming off its bye week. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen's team beat BYU last week and he warns that the Bulldogs have a stiff test facing them.

    "This year we ended up playing the two top teams in the SEC East. That rotates, so that just happens sometimes with scheduling. Obviously, it is a huge challenge against an excellent football team. They are a play away really from being undefeated and a Top 25 team easily nationally coming in here. It will be a great challenge for us," Mullen said.

    "They have a lot of talent. On the field, Mark (Stoops) does a good job of having them believe they can win football games. They do a good job mixing it up, run, and pass. It's a very physical defense, so the guys understand their scheme and what they are supposed to do. They attack you from a lot of different directions and give you a lot of defensive looks.

    "Offensively, they spread the ball around and have some very good running backs, so it will be a big challenge for us. Obviously, it was a tough game for us last year, up there, it went right down to the wire. We seem to have very tough battles with them, year in and year out. Hopefully for us, the benefit will be being at home for the second week in a row.

    "Hopefully we will have a huge crowd with our fans giving us that home field advantage that we need to make it hard on the opposing team."

    Mullen said Kentucky's multiple defensive fronts can confuse an offense.

    "They will pressure you, move different directions, blitz a lot of different guys, and show a lot of different coverage looks. We have a lot of length on the outside with the corner positions, so they pose some unique challenges with how multiple they are," Mullen said.

    The Mississippi State coach believes the added experience UK quarterback Stephen Johnson has added since last year makes him much better.

    "He's understanding his offense, and understanding his reads. He is a great athlete and can make plays with his feet, but also has the maturity of knowing when not to," Mullen said. "Younger guys sometimes make plays with their feet first and then they learn how to throw second. He seems to have that balance and understanding of what they are trying to accomplish."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Mississippi State's Mullen sees a stiff test ahead in Kentucky started by Darrell KSR View original post