November 25, 2009

Mullen talking the school up north

Mississippi State dropped out of bowl contention with last week's loss to Arkansas.

Now the Bulldogs are playing for pride and hope to avenge last season's 45-0 shutout in the Egg Bowl against instate rival Ole Miss.

Saturday will mark the last time that 15 seniors will suit up in maroon and white. Fans will say goodbye to Tay Bowser, Charles Burns, Jamar Chaney, Anthony Dixon, Christian Ducre, Andrew Ellard, Craig Jenkins, Tyson Lee, Kyle Love, Brandon McRae, Reggie Odom, Chris Spencer, Arnil Stallworth, Marcus Washington and Austin Wilbanks during a ceremony just before kickoff.

"We're excited obviously for the great rivalry game to finish up the season," said MSU head coach Dan Mullen. "It will be the last game for 15 of our seniors to play in their last game. It will be a special moment for those guys. They've done a great job in just my one year here. They've bought into everything that we've asked those seniors to do. It will be a special moment for them and a chance to send them off on a great note to go on to other parts of their life."

Saturday's game will mark the one-year anniversary of McRae's incredible comeback. The senior receiver severely fractured his fibia when his cleat got caught in the artificial surface at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford putting his career in jeopardy.

McRae was the Bulldogs leading receiver last season making 51 catches for 518 yards and three touchdowns but battled through the recovery process and has not missed any playing time this fall. However, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder has not had the same impact offensively with only 14 catches for 116 yards.

"I think he has worked hard to get himself back on the field," Mullen said of McRae. "I wasn't around him last year. I've seen some clips and I don't know if he's playing at the same level that he was at last year because of the injury. I know it was a pretty devastating injury but Brandon is playing well. He's 100-percent of where he is going to be right now and done a really nice job for us this year."

Saturday's game could play a role in recruiting with State and Ole Miss vying for some of the same recruits. But Mullen downplayed the game's outcome with where his team stands with many of the prospects that will be in attendance.

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