rmallet1As Saturday's match up between #13 Arkansas and #22 MSU approaches, I figured we'd take a midweek look at what's being talked about in the 2 opposing camps. MSU's Dan Mullen spoke about a variety of topics, and we also have some quotes from Arkansas' Off. Coordinator Garrick McGee, and Bulldogs' Def. Coordinator Manny Diaz. We will also look at the Hogs' top players thus far. Saw where the ticket count is down under 600, so it's gonna be a packed house for Senior Night at Davis Wade Stadium.

_____Dan Mullen Speaks_____

On Practice: “I think our last two games are 6:00 games so when you get to this time of year it’s actually good to get out here and make sure we’re practicing around our gametime, so our guys get used to playing...For us just a regular Tuesday, get back in our game routine. It was first down/play action mix, full pads, good hitting. We did some tackling but we didn’t change a routine that’s been very successful for us. So it was get out here, get after them, get back into that mindset of what we need to do to win. We got in a great routine in that winning streak, had a bunch of other things happen to get us out of that routine,” Mullen said. “Now we’re trying to get back on focus.”

On Relf: "Chris saw the chances. We went back and looked, he was 8-of-16 with four drops, two open receivers that he missed. So there were a lot of opportunities there, and for the receivers, everybody. We had a chance to watch it and see; in our winning games we were making those plays. If you don’t make them you’re not going to, against great teams.”

On Zach Smith (Injured): "He’s adamant that he is playing, to me...You can joke with him but he doesn’t even think it’s funny to joke with him. It was like ‘how come I’m not listed #1 on the punt team today?’” I said it’s because you’re not practicing. He said but I’m playing, so list me as #1.”- Gotta respect Zach Smith's heart.

_____Hogs' Off. Coordinator Garrick McGee_____

"Our kids are playing at a really high level right now," Coach McGee said. "When we are set behind the chains, they've found ways to make plays and convert third downs. I know Ryan (Mallett) hit Cobi (Hamilton) on an in-cut on third-and-10 last week and it seemed really simple when he did it. We've just got to continue to play well on first down. Third downs become simple." On State's Defense: "Their defense is really complex. They would call it a multiple defense, I bet. They play three down. They play four down. They have four defensive linemen in the game in a three-down structure, with one of their defensive linemen standing up and floating around. They have a really interesting scheme that's going to be a challenge for us."

  • During Arkansas' 4 game win streak, they are averaging 46.5 ppg, and have converted 54% of the time on 3rd Downs during that stretch. SCARY.

_____Mann Diaz on Stopping the Hog Offense_____

"One of the things in the Alabama game is it ruined another red zone performance. We're usually pretty hard to score on in the red zone, and when Alabama got in our red zone, they had a hard time scoring touchdowns on us. With a guy like Mallett, who is going to complete some passes, and they're going to get some yards, if we will just understand, if we will tackle the catch, at a minimum if we'll tackle the catch, sooner or later they're going to wind up in our red zone, and the field gets constricted, and the offense is limited in terms of what they can do where you think you've got a chance."-What Manny Diaz described, would be a nice alternative compared to Carl Torbush's schemes last season. The Dawgs allowed Mallet to connect on long TD passes of 39, 58, and 64 yards. As much of a cushion as State has been playing in the past couple of weeks, Diaz should be able to take away the homerun ball, and present the Dawg D with opportunities to make plays against the underneath to mid-range passing game. This year's Hog team will be even tougher than last year's, thanks to the emergence of RB Kniles Davis. The Sophomore is approaching the 1,000 yard mark on the season.

Hog Playmakers in 2010

  • QB Ryan Mallet: 2,967 yds, 67%, 24 TDs, 8 INTs
  • RB Kniles Davis: 844 yds, 7.2ypc, 10 TDs
  • RB Broderick Green: 333 yds, 3.5 yds per carry, 3 TDs
  • WR Greg Childs: (out for yr) 659 yds, 14.3 yds per reception, 6 TDs
  • WR Joe Adams: 588 yds, 17.3 ypr, 4 TDs
  • WR Jarius Wright: 545 yds, 17 ypr, 3 TDs
  • TE DJ Williams: 491 yds, 11 ypr, 3 TDs
  • WR Cobi Hamilton: 391 yds, 15.6 ypr, 4 TDs
  • RB Ryan Wingo: 274 yds, 10 ypr, 4 TDs
  • Arkansas is 2nd in the SEC in Total Off. and Mallet is 15th nationally. Arkansas is 5th in Total Def. (More on stats tomorrow).

____Cam Newton Saga_____

Well guys, after an Auburn win, and 3 hours of Cam Newton worship from CBS's Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, all seemed somewhat 'sunny' again in Auburn, Alabama. The Friday before the UGA game, there were some reports that Cam Newton's father, Cecil Newton, allegedly admitted to shopping his son to MSU. Reports say that Cam and Newton's wife, were unaware of the bribe. Those reports seemed to have hushed, but the saga is heating up now more than ever. On Tuesday, the FBI interviewed former MSU QB John Bond, who was the first to provide information about the Newton case. Bond's inside information, which sent shock waves through the College Football world, included Ken Rogers. Rogers, like Bond, is a former MSU player, and in all this has been identified as Newton's representative or 'handler' during Newton's recruitment and signing with Auburn. According to ESPN-Dallas radio, Rogers was interviewed by NCAA investigators on Tuesday, after he called out Cecil Newton last week, confirming that the father did in fact solicit monetary payments from MSU, in order to earn his son's commitment. The NCAA investigative crew, also met with former MSU Football Operations Director Jody Wright. Wright is now a G.A. at Alabama. Hopefully we will find out something soon. ESPN's Mark Schlabach, said that the FBI's involvement will be to investigate the money trail, and to see if one exists.

Arkansas writer Chris Bahn, writes that Arkansas' attendance numbers have dropped as their ranking has increased. Btw, the Hogs are done in Fayetteville for the season, as Little Rock awaits LSU next week. Redneck Mardi Gras!!! Ugh... Link

The SEC's dirtiest player, Auburn's Nick Fairley, will not be suspended or punished for his continual and violent LATE hits on opposing QBs. So, just how WORTHY was MSU's Chris Hugh's hit on the UAB player? Remember, the one that we never even saw a replay of, or know happened? Btw, is Fairley's actions and the Cam Newton issue, just a few of the eye-opening aspects of Auburn's lack of institutional control? Link

Anybody see Bama backup QB AJ McCarron get spanked by Saban? Link

Story on the Hogs' DJ Williams. The kid has overcome a lot. Link

That's all for today guys!