Mississippi State

Mississippi State’s Mullen to have homecoming at UMass

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen walks on the sideline in the second half of a game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen walks on the sideline in the second half of a game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday. Associated Press

Game workers at Gillette Stadium may have to designate a will call window specifically for the friends and family of Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.

Mullen grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is less than 80 miles from Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Bulldogs will play UMass on Saturday at the home of the NFL’s New England Patriots.

Mullen’s wife, Megan, is in charge of arranging tickets for their larger than normal party. The headcount was already in the 80s on Monday.

“It’s a beautiful deal and a really neat experience,” Dan Mullen said. “It’s fun for me to get back towards home and play a game.”

Mullen traveled to the region back in April and completed the Boston Marathon with a time of 4:28:35. The trip this time around will be strictly business.

“I’ll be working here so I’ll miss the Pats game Thursday night and the Red Sox are out of town,” Mullen said. “It’s a shame because we follow it up with a bye week so if the Red Sox were in town I’d maybe try and stick around and catch a Sox game and see Big Papi (slugger David Ortiz) one more time.”

The UMass game was a late addition to the Bulldogs’ schedule after Tulane backed out of a trip to Starkville.

Alternate uniforms

Mississippi State will wear new alternate adidas away uniforms for its game against UMass this weekend.

The Bulldogs will wear silver helmets with maroon face masks, a white jersey with a maroon stripe on each shoulder and down the side, maroon pants with a pair of gray pinstripes down the side.

The “M-State” ribbon logo will appear on each side of the helmet and the players shoulders. The “Mississippi State” logo will appear on the chest and “Bulldogs” will be on the back nameplate.

It will be MSU’s fourth different uniform combination in as many games this season.

Questionable returns

Mississippi State is holding out hope it can get seniors Will Coleman and Cedric Jiles healthy and in uniform for Saturday’s game against Massachusetts.

Both Coleman and Jiles were listed as defensive starters on the preseason depth chart. Coleman, a viper, has been out with a back injury since the first day of fall practice and Jiles, a cornerback, broke his right arm during fall camp.

Mullen listed both players as questionable this week but would likely have both players available against Auburn on Oct. 8 following a bye week.

Ground issues

After rushing for a quarterback school record 195 yards rushing against South Carolina, Nick Fitzgerald was held to just 13 yards on the ground by LSU.

Fitzgerald averaged only one yard per carry with his longest rush for 15 yards.

“When you’re running option plays – whether its zone read or other things – you’re just going to take what the defense gives you,” Mullen said. “So I guess they had some guys on him and that gave him the reads to hand the ball off.”