September 28, 2010

Bulldogs not overlooking Alcorn

Mississippi State is coming off a huge Southeastern Conference victory over Georgia and finally catches a bit of a break in the early schedule facing Alcorn State.

But with the recent events involving Jacksonville State-Ole Miss and Youngstown State-Virginia Tech, Bulldog head coach Dan Mullen is hoping that facing an instate opponent will keep his players attention and avoid an upset.

"We're really excited about the game this week," Mullen said. "Anytime you get to play an in-state team there is a natural rivalry between the two teams. A lot of these players got to go up against each other in high school, or maybe in a youth football league. A lot of players are from the same hometown. I think our fans that come to the game know players that are from their hometown that they can watch playing for Alcorn, as well as Alcorn fans coming up here to watch our players play. I think the opportunity to play these games is a real benefit for the state of Mississippi and the people of Mississippi, for all our fans a great opportunity who haven't been to the university before to come up and see it. We're hoping to get our seventh consecutive sellout and I know there are some tickets still available and hopefully we will sell this out so we can continue to play these in-state rivals and continue what we hope to be an every year tradition of playing one of the in-state teams from the SWAC."

The Braves roster consists of 34 players from the state of Mississippi. That combined with the 60 Magnolia State natives featured on MSU's squad should create a natural rivalry.

"It's a rivalry game and I think that's the benefit for us playing an instate team," Mullen said. "We're not playing an FCS school from Arizona or California. I think the natural rivalry between the players having played against each other before is what is going to be a huge motivating factor with our team this week."

Alcorn State is off to a 3-0 start to the season and are coming off back-to-back SWAC victories against Mississippi Valley State and Alabama State to start 2-0 in league play.

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