After practice tonight, the last one on 'The Farm' for Mississippi State, Dan Mullen momentarily seemed to be in higher spirits than after Monday's practice which he dubbed "pathetic."
That extra skip in his step, it turns out, must have been imagined.
"I'm never in a good mood," Mullen said when asked if he was happier today.
Apparently, the offense was still lackluster, though a bit better than it had been.
Although, when told that sophomore running back LaDarius Perkins thought the offense did well, Mullen disagreed.
"Eh, I don't know about that," Mullen said. "The effort was better. There's still a lot of execution stuff on both sides of the ball that gotta get cleaned up. Couple turnovers on the offense. You can't turn the ball over and expect to win. That was disappointing. Had some guys making some plays on defense to help that. The effort was better. Still sloppy. Gotta get things cleaned up."
At MSU, classes start tomorrow morning, meaning the players will have more on their minds than pigskins and X's and O's. Of course, Mullen says the team will remain in camp mode through the week.
"We're into camp through Friday," Mullen said. "It's still way too early to stop training camp just because school started up, we start school early here. Next week, we'll kind of start to get a little more into game mode."
As for the previous eight days practicing on South Farm, Mullen said much of what happens on the field in 2011 will reflect what happened in the August heat on the farm.
"The big challenge for our kids, I ask them, there's two things: you can survive the farm or you can attack the farm. If we're worried about surviving the farm, we're not gonna be a very good football team," Mullen said. "If we go attack the farm, we'll probably have a chance to be a championship team. Each individual has gotta ask that of themselves. We have to find out how we're gonna come together as a team."
So, Dan, did your team attack or survive?
"Little bit of both, little bit of both," Mullen said. "I guess because it's just us, it's hard to tell sometimes. There's not another opponent you're going against, it's just going against each other. It's really hard to tell where you're at, because you could be really good on one side of the ball, or you could be really bad on the other side of the ball."
Now that the team is wrapping up training camp, Mullen said it is time for the fans to get in shape for the season.
"I hope the fans are just resting to get ready to show up September 1 in Memphis and make a lot of noise," Mullen said. "They'd better be prepping their voice right now to really loud on September 1, and save up for the home opener a couple of weeks later."