Mississippi State writer provides opposing view of Saturday’s game

Here’s a short question-and-answer I did with Brandon Marcello, the Mississippi State beat writer for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Hopefully he can give us a little perspective from the other sideline when those Bulldogs visit the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. . . .

1. Give us the lowdown on Dan Mullen. Is he really as brash and cocky as he seems or is he actually a warm and fuzzy guy behind the scenes?



“Dan Mullen is a very smart coach, and listening to him talk Xs and Os, I hear, is an interesting and insightful sight. The players love him and he’s definitely a hard worker. His enthusiasm and off-the-cuff comments (referring to Ole Miss as “the school up north” and saying whatever is on his mind) has excited the fan base, while riling up the detractors at opposing schools. For the longest time, MSU fans have desired to be the school everyone envied and now Mullen is telling those fans that, hey, it’s cool to be a Bulldog fan living in Starkville. Fans have not heard that in a while, and it certainly has provided fans and the administration a shot in the arm the last few years.”

2. What’s the general satisfaction level of the fan base? Certainly the 9-win season last year was well received but it appears they’ve struggled within the division outside Mississippi? Is there any sense of desperation not to start 0-3 in the SEC?

“There is a sense of desperation from fans. Some understand that the injuries on the offensive line have truly thrown cold water on the hot-as-fire expectations entering the season. The loss to Auburn, more than anything, was disheartening. That was a game State was expected to win by double digits, and to lose the way the Dogs did at the goal line was yet another “Here we go” moment for the fans, who are still trying to wash away the 3-8 seasons of the past.

“I don’t believe fans should let go of that hope, though. I really like what I’ve seen from this team on offense and, yes, defense. They have a chance Saturday and in future games. Home games against South Carolina and Alabama could still define the season.”

3. Who would you say is the best player Georgia fans know nothing about?

“Rarely anyone ever talks about MSU’s defense, and for that fact I’m going to go with cornerback Johnthan Banks. He has interceptions in the last three games, and he saved a possible game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter with a pick in the end zone Saturday against Louisiana Tech. Banks and Corey Broomfield, both juniors, have combined for six interceptions returned for touchdowns, and they seemingly have changed the complexion of every game when they make those big plays. Watch out for Banks.”

4. Where would you say the Maroon Dogs have a clear advantage in Saturday’s matchup? Conversely, where do you give Georgia the edge?

“I believe MSU has an advantage in the cornerback vs. receiver battle, though I suspect State will back off in coverage at times to confuse QB Aaron Murray. As mentioned above, MSU’s corners are ball hawks.

“Georgia has a big advantage on its defensive line. As Mullen put it, Georgia’s D-line might just be the biggest in the nation.

“State is still regrouping after a season-ending injury to right guard Tobias Smith, and starting left tackle James Carmon (out the last two weeks with a knee injury) is expected to return Saturday. Carmon, though, will likely line up at guard to give MSU some weight in the middle. If that happens, Quentin Saulsberry will be able to move from guard back to center, leaving just one redshirt freshman (LT Blaine Clausell) starting on the offensive line. Experience was in short supply in recent weeks, but Carmon’s addition should help.”

5. How do you deal with the cowbell thing? Ear plugs? Bose headphones?

“One of the first tweets I fired off from the Scott Field press box when I arrived on the beat last season concerned the loud cowbells. I sounded like a cranky old man, blindsided by the headache-inducing metal-on-metal clangs. Never missing a beat, the Bulldog fans made sure to let me have it on Twitter. And, yes, deservedly so.

“Let me tell you this: Those cowbells are much louder in the press box than the field. With their cowbells raised high, all of the sound goes up. But, heck, I’m young and I’ve grown to love it, actually. I think it’s a cool tradition and I love how the fans have embraced it as others outside Starkville and the state constantly turn their nose to what really is a unique and underrated fan celebration.

6. Some final thoughts?

“I believe the game is going to be close, but with MSU’s overtime win last week against Louisiana Tech, I can understand why others will disagree with my take. As for what the Mississippians think of Georgia? Heck, I believe they’re way too concerned about their own team to be worry about the Bulldogs of Athens. Great party town, though.

“Kidding aside, this will be a close one with one team’s defense stepping up with a couple of turnovers to change the complexion of the game. Georgia has the home crowd, the advantage on the defensive front and a freshman running back (Isaiah Crowell) who can pound the ball with some punishing, game-sealing runs late in games. On paper, you have to go with Georgia in this one.”

55 comments Add your comment


September 30th, 2011
11:15 pm


September 30th, 2011
11:17 pm


And a decidedly realistic beat writer. Hard to find those these days.


September 30th, 2011
11:18 pm

Like Washaun Ealey, I was late to the hole.

Hoops Dawg

September 30th, 2011
11:18 pm

Good to read others’perspective for a change. Hope he is right about a G. Dawg win.

Fair and Balanced

September 30th, 2011
11:21 pm

Ga needs to play 4 qtrs. Last weeks breakdown un 2 nd half kept the game closer than it really was. Tricky plays seem to work vs Ga.

Vampire Bill

September 30th, 2011
11:21 pm

The bulldogs will win. No doubt


September 30th, 2011
11:24 pm

Should be another hard hitting SEC game. The Dawgs will win by 10. Go dawgs!!!

Make a Truthful Statement

September 30th, 2011
11:32 pm

The facts are fans of both schools have DOUBTS about their football programs. The MSU program is worried about Depth and Injuries, the UGA fans doubt their head coach and coaching staff.

MSU has the size and athletes to beat UGA in Athens, but the facts are it is much harder to win road SEC games than most fans think.

UGA will need to win this game or the situation at UGA becomes much worse than most UGA fans will be able to support.


September 30th, 2011
11:51 pm

How about this take on Saturdays game.What if Dan Mullen “brings it on” this Saturday in Athens. Anything can happen, but a MSU victory, with less talent, would speak volumes about CDM…especially with the UGA AD connection to him. Being a big SEC fan,with no fav team,this game could be very, very interesting concerning CMR!

Tampa Dawg

September 30th, 2011
11:54 pm

Crowell goes for a buck-fifty. 35 to 14 UGA wins! CMR is out to prove something in this game!


October 1st, 2011
12:12 am

Tampa Dawg…hope you are right. I see this one being close and either team could win by 7 or less. If Murray doesn’t throw interceptions and Crowell puts up 150…UGA wins. Anything less Miss. St. We are truly a 2nd or 3rd tier SEC Team with that comment! Tired of seeing a TON of talent not being coached up!!

Rocktown Dawg

October 1st, 2011
12:12 am

Jonathan Banks get ready… Murray will make u famous this sat… he throws more picks than a Hillbilly froggin… Dont forget … Bobo calls post routes on 3rd and 3… Oh my lord Bobo’s a retard..Here comes the shortbus to Athens again.. stay tune to see who will be on the bus this weekend with he and Murray….

joe cox

October 1st, 2011
12:13 am

man i love the dogs

ca dawg

October 1st, 2011
12:52 am

yeah rocktown, he’s thrown 3 picks this year. way to work it through.

the shortbus may be coming to athens, but it’s coming from starkville.


October 1st, 2011
1:01 am

Let’s see if this my be Dan Mullin’s audition to be the new head coach @ UGA .Should make for an interesting day!


October 1st, 2011
1:03 am

Please excuse my spelling, not MY but may.


October 1st, 2011
1:11 am

@Rocktown Dawg : I have never been one who subscribes to political correctness, however, remember…….Some parents out here have children who through no fault of their own, were born with birth defects. Something tells me “real” University of Georgia football fans were raised to be a bit more civil. You might want to think it over, it certainly isn’t becoming, funny, or in any way “Dawg” to me………….Sincerily, RED


October 1st, 2011
1:29 am

Trouble is CMR couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag. Dogs may win tomorrow but will then go on a losing streak at Tennessee, Vandy and the annual beat down in Jacksonville. Richt is toast. He knows he is incapable of producing a winning team and is now resigned to his fate. It will take the new coach a couple of years to get things turned around.

Thomas Brown

October 1st, 2011
4:15 am

Well, I am interested in seeing Isaiah Crowell, get up after a 4-yard gain vs this team who has beat no one except two teams who each only have 1 worthless win themselves, keeping his helmet on and not showing us his dredlocks every play, and absolutely not jumping up and running down the field 10 yards to jaw at the opponents. I also would like to see us put Boo into the game early, so that late we don’t have watch how out-of-shape Isaiah Crowell is. Further, I would love to see him show me all the speed these posters post about here on the AJ-C beat blog; because I studied it and there are 227 faster recruits in the 2011 recruiting class ALONE than Isaiah Crowell.

Aaron Murray I want to see throw no interceptions, have zero fumbles, not throw himself into the turf before some big bad SEC DL gets near him, not average 1 yards a carry for the game with 10 carries every game when he clearly cannot run the ball at all, and I would like to see him not add this sorry Missy State team to the list of sorry football teams he has lost to with his 8-9 record as a Starter. Aaron Murray is NO David Greene, except for the way BOTH cannot run nor not fumble. And, ask Aaron Murray if he can demonstrate some leadership of the trash-talking do-nothing offense, and refrain himself from any Tweets on his national Twitter page about how he is going to leave for the game now and go kick him some a**. I also would like to see Aaron Murray not check-off at the line of scrimmage to his own number, or if they call his number from the sidelines, not keep his number the only number that is called on offense. We are supposed to have 85 players Mark Richt gave scholarships to for this 2011 season and with 29 who will not play tomorrow vs Missy State who should be, we still have a lot more players than just only ball-hog Aaron Murray. Give the ball to Isaiah Crowell at the 1-yard line EVERY time Aaron Murray, you ball hog.

Win P

October 1st, 2011
4:35 am

Thomas Brown, enjoy the game.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

October 1st, 2011
5:30 am

Thomas Brown is unable to enjoy the game.

GT football notebook:

October 1st, 2011
5:33 am

Enter your comments here

Georgia Tech = #1 Offense in the Nation

October 1st, 2011
5:36 am


October 1st, 2011
5:40 am

Hey Richt win this one for Russ–GATA


October 1st, 2011
5:56 am

Thomas Brown , what gives go cut the grass or check out a movie .

sc fan

October 1st, 2011
6:54 am

don’t rag your team so much.

Big D

October 1st, 2011
7:40 am

I am looking forward to the game between the hedges…should be a great day for football…a dawg win and the first of multiple losses for the gaytors today!

Burma Shave

October 1st, 2011
7:44 am

Here’s To Hoping Our Youngsters

Can Overcome Their Fears

Of Facing This Battle

With Their West Division Peers

Burma Shave©

Dirty Dawg

October 1st, 2011
7:46 am

Gosh i hope the dogs wear their new jet suits today. They look like real beasst in them. Will the Missy State fans be allowed into stanford Stadium with their cowbells? Also, don’t forget that Walgreens still have Georgia T’s on sale 2 for 5 dollars. really neat Christmas gifts. Also smokeless tobacco (snuff) is on sale and it makes great stocking stuffers.

Georgia Tech

October 1st, 2011
7:54 am

The Bizzaro View vs the DAWG view…..

I know what you ask, but we shall see in about 5 hours who is who…
The real DAWGS will truely win I garentee that ;)

On paper… | Get The Picture

October 1st, 2011
8:30 am

[...] it should be a happy Saturday in Athens.  Even the Mississippi State beat writer agrees.  The Dawgs are the better team statistically, have more momentum on their side and play at [...]


October 1st, 2011
8:33 am

A sound win would put UGA football program back to where we are use to it being. With all of this negative talk, I got to say, the future looks pretty darn good to me. We need to recruit hard at LB, RB, and OL. I think we have an excellent shot to win out. UF and Tech will be huge. Win out and get in a Jan bowl game and all of you UGA thumb sucking fans can go pull for Tech.


October 1st, 2011
8:33 am

Crowell will be tired in the 3rd quarter, Murray will personally deliver 10 points to MSU as gifts.

MSU will show UGA who are the real dogs in the final quarter.


October 1st, 2011
8:34 am

Oh, and by the way, Go Gaytors and Roll Tide!

Cohutta Dawgman

October 1st, 2011
8:34 am

GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 1st, 2011
8:42 am

This is a BIG game for CMR, a must win!


October 1st, 2011
8:52 am

Im ready for an optimistic season. Why does the bulldawg nation always have to wonder worry if MR and staff are going to put it together. I guess this year is better than others. a little


October 1st, 2011
8:54 am

I am very interested to see how Crowell holds up in the 4th quarter.
There’s no oppressive heat and humidity, so lets just see how well he is conditioned.
I also bet that due to this weeks “yes I am no I’m not” drama that Boo will actually see the field.

16 games, 7 W's and 9 losses

October 1st, 2011
8:56 am


When the dawgs lose (they will be out coached) again, even if they should win on paper, it will be the end of Richt and the worse coaches in the SEC. Richt won’t make it to the FLA game. And if he did, how fo you like Bobo vs Charlie Weis——men against boys.

Hairy Dawg

October 1st, 2011
8:58 am

On paper and in tradition, talent, swaggers.home field, better mascot, truer recruiting you have to go with Georgia as real Dawgs and not some washed up copy like fake bulldawg of Mss.

Beast from the East

October 1st, 2011
9:00 am

Should be a good one.
Best of luck, Dawgs!

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

October 1st, 2011
9:06 am

A uga fan making fun of any other school is damn funny!!! You must be 14 sport or just plain stupid. You want a good laugh then walk by the UGA trophy case today while in Athens…that should do it for you!


October 1st, 2011
9:10 am

Welcome to Athens, Coach Mullen. Hope you enjoy your new office.


October 1st, 2011
9:40 am

Remember those encouraging words of that great Carolina coach,”fight like dawgs not cats gotta fight like dawgs roof roof not cats meow meow”.GOOOOOOO DAWWWGS

Snoop Dawg

October 1st, 2011
10:03 am

I predict that the Bulldogs will win this one…

UGA? R U Kidding

October 1st, 2011
10:16 am

Wow dawg fans; these 12:00 noon start times are becoming a regular thing for you aren’t they?


October 1st, 2011
10:26 am


October 1st, 2011
11:11 am

Are we physical enough to beat MS State? I think we have a decisive edge at the skill positions. Marcello is saying that defensive back is one of their strengths. I had read that it was one of their weaknesses and that we should be able to throw the ball against them. Guess we will see soon.

Rotten in Denmark

October 1st, 2011
11:25 am

@ BidDaddy 8:33am….. and using that same logic, with a little bit of duct tape and cardboard, and the Titanic would have been just fine. Don’t confuse optimisim with stupidity. I’m optimistic UGA will one day return to a respected and worthy football program, but if I think that’s gonna happen without a complete replacement of everyone currently wearing headphones, then I’d just be stupid.

Rotten in Denmark

October 1st, 2011
11:34 am

@ elvisaintdead at 9:10am — and as good new hosts to CDM, we should offer to fumigate his new office before he moves in. Lord knows the previous occupant stunk it up something awful.