HOOVER, Alabama – It’s the way Mississippi State ended its 7-6 campaign last season that has Dan Mullen excited about his team.
The Bulldogs had to win their last two games — against Arkansas and rival Ole Miss — to become bowl-eligible, after which point they pummeled Rice, 44-7.
Coming off this end-of-season momentum, the Bulldogs were talking Tuesday at SEC Media Days about a Southeastern Conference championship, a White House visit and Heisman hype.
In response to a question about his expectations for the season, Jay Hughes said he had plans that would require winning a national championship.
“I always tell my teammates I got this suit I wanna wear to the White House,” Hughes said. “Y’all help me get to the White House.”
While Mullen wasn’t announcing travel plans to the District of Columbia, he did say he thinks it’s a “wide open path” to the SEC championship game. And he likes the experience he’s bringing back this season. Thirty Mississippi State players started at least one game last season.
“The great thing about (the injuries the team suffered last season) is it’s given all those guys experience coming into this season,” Mullen said. “To have all those guys come back that have played in a lot of big games is pretty special.”
Mississippi State junior quarterback Dak Prescott drew the biggest crowd of media members among the three Bulldog players in Hoover Tuesday. Prescott was asked how he felt about being a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, and he mostly shrugged it off.
“I know the guy I am, and I’m going to stick to that,” Prescott said. “I’m the same guy I am as I was when I was a backup.”
Prescott, a dual-threat quarterback who ran for 1940 yards and threw for another 829, said he focused on his footwork this offseason in order to throw more accurately, and his coach said the Bulldogs may take a few more shots down the field with long throws this season.
An early signing period
Mullen advocated for an early signing date for recruits — the Monday after Thanksgiving. He said the purpose of the date wouldn’t be to rush recruits into visiting campus, but rather to get “some of the silly parts that go on in recruiting out of the way so (recruits) can focus on their academics.”