Has everyone forgotten the 2011 LA Tech and UAB games already? How about UAB in 2010?
The story has been the same against non-conference opponents during Dan Mullen's tenure. We come out flat and our schemes are vanilla. It's something I have come to expect, and until MSU actually slips up and loses one of these games I'm not going to fret.
What does pulling out all the stops against teams like Troy and South Alabama accomplish? Nothing. Mullen realizes that he can out-talent these teams and sees more benefit in spreading out reps all the way down the depth-chart, and I agree with his philosophy. Keep your players healthy, reveal as little as possible on film, and score more points than the other team. A win is a win is a win. Blowout, slobber-knocker, pretty, ugly, it doesn't matter do me. I'm sure Mullen and Co. would like to win every game 56-0, but playing a lot of guys and building depth is important, especially when you can still hear this at the end of the game...
Something else MSU fans should realize is that we haven't even played our best football yet....AND WE'RE 4-0. How many times has Mississippi State been able to say that ever? Four times, that's how many (1919, 1944-45, and 1999). Let's enjoy this, Bulldog fans. There are more winnable games on the schedule and plenty of room for improvement.
I understand some of the gripe. Do I cringe when Tyler Russell can't hit open receivers? Absolutely. Or how about when he does throw it on target and our wideouts get stone hands? Miserable. Is it exciting for us to sit back in zone coverage while the other team moves down the field? Hell no, but at the end of the day, I want us healthy and hyped up for the games that matter. I'm talking about Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, etc. SEC games.
Mullen wasn't pleased with the Bulldogs' latest performance, probably because his expectations are higher than even the fans, but he also sees the bigger picture.
"Ugh," Mullen grunted. "It was bad. Tyler was making bad reads, we weren't throwing the ball very well. Offensive line, just sloppy. It's on us. We had some bad play calls. Everything, to me, was everything you don't want to do."
"We have a lot of improving to do on both sides of the ball," said Mullen. "But we'll get a lot of that fixed in the bye week this week."
“We are 4-0, ranked nationally, and right where we want to be,” Mullen told a group of reporters.
Let's wait until we actually lose some games to start complaining. Until then, there's always the stank smell of the concession cups to fuss about.