October 26, 2009
Mullen's Monday press conference
Mississippi State did it again.
The Bulldogs played another top tier opponent down to the wire at home but ultimately came up short due to turnovers. But head coach Dan Mullen stills feels his team is upbeat and encouraged following their 29-19 loss to No. 1 Florida on Saturday.
"I'm really pleased with the attitude this team has," Mullen said. "We've lost four pretty competitive games at home this season against nationally ranked opponents. They came out to practice yesterday and continued to maintain their focus and had the mentality to improve every day. Each individual on this team is trying to make themselves a better football player, and we will, as a team, continue to try and improve."
Mullen was also pleased with the atmosphere fans created at Davis Wade Stadium for their national television audience on ESPN. The school record for attendance was shattered Saturday as 57,178 fans packed into the stadium.
"It does a lot, not just for our team now, but for our team in the future," Mullen said. "We've got a lot of young talented players on this team now that see, if you play hard we can build a championship program here and play in front of that type of atmosphere. When it comes to recruiting it helps to show these young men that they don't need to go to Southern Cal or Ohio State to play in front of a big-time atmosphere. They can stay close to home and play where their families can see them and still have that type of atmosphere. I thank the fans for that and that is a huge part in us building our football program in the present and future."
One player that seemed to shine in spotlight was true freshman safety Johnthan Banks. The former three-star standout from nearby East Webster High School returned two interceptions for touchdowns off Tim Tebow. It became the second and third time that Tebow had ever had a pick returned for a score in his career.
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