April 19, 2009

Record setting crowd ushers in Mullen era

STARKVILLE, Miss., - After eight years of offensive struggles, Mississippi State fans began arriving at Davis Wade Stadium in droves hoping to catch a glimpse of hope from first year head coach Dan Mullen and his spread offensive attack.

A record-setting crowd of 31,606 filed into the stadium for the Maroon-White Scrimmage as part of Super Bulldog Weekend.

The maroon and white faithful saw the two evenly matched rosters put up a combined 45 points with the Maroon squad coming out on top 24-21 on a game-winning 24-yard field goal by Derek DePasquale.

The fans were not the only ones impressed by what they witnessed on Saturday evening.

"The first thing I was impressed with was all the Mississippi State fans coming out and supporting us," Mullen said. "That was the most impressive thing that I saw. Offensively I was pleased that we had a clean scrimmage. You come out here and you put our product on our field for the first time in front of all these fans, we wanted to make sure we weren't fumbling the ball all over the field, jumping offsides all night long. Our guys when you put them in a pressure situation in front of a lot of fans, they came out and executed on a fairly well basis."

The 31,606 set an attendance record in the state of Mississippi for a spring game. The previous record was set earlier in the day at Ole Miss' annual Grove Bowl with an announced turnout of 28,357.

Senior running back Anthony Dixon was blown away by the fan support.

"I can't say I expected this because it ain't never happened like this since I've been up here," Dixon said. "It was cool. It's about time they showed us a little support because we work so hard for them. It was cool. I love seeing the fans. They fed us some energy and let us know that somebody cares about our play. It was cool seeing them up here."

MSU had the third largest crowd in the Southeastern Conference of 10,210 show up at Dudy Noble field on Saturday afternoon to watch the Diamond Dogs take down Kentucky 4-3 with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

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