STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI Sports) - The Mississippi State football team is preparing for its home game against Kentucky Thursday night. The Bulldogs have had an off week to prepare for the Wildcats, who they’ve beaten four-straight times.
Head coach Dan Mullen said Monday that Kentucky is a team that’s improving, even if they’re not seeing the results in the win column.
“In this league, the win/loss results might not total what you’re accomplishing on the field,” Mullen said. “You look at their team and they’re accomplishing an awful lot. Their guys are playing hard.”
Kentucky is MSU’s permanent SEC East opponent. That has added some meaning to the matchup.
“It always leads to a little bit of a rivalry because it’s the team on the other side of the league that you play every year,” Mullen said. “Our guys look forward to this game and treat it as a little bit of a rivalry game.”
MSU watched upset after upset Saturday during its time off: Ole Miss, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Tennessee doing the unexpected. Would a State loss Thursday be an upset? Not a huge one. But Mullen said every team has to come to play no matter what.
“In this league you have to play your “A” game,” Mullen said. “You come in and play sloppy, you turn the ball over a bunch in the first half, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you’re not going to win the game. If you come in and play real well, you have a chance to win the game.”
He believes his team is capable of pulling off that kind of upset, but also capable of losing games it should win.
“If we play our best game, I think we can play with anybody in the league,” Mullen said. “If we don’t play our best game we can lose to anybody in the league.”