The context for Dan Mullen's second season at Mississippi State is all about getting a signature win.
Mullen thinks that's already happened. He pointed to wins last year over Kentucky and Ole Miss, but neither of those propelled State to a bowl game. It finished 5-7. In 2010, anything short of a bowl will be viewed as a disappointment to Bulldog fans.
So consider what happened last Thursday night in Starkville, when the Bulldogs were driving late but lost to Auburn, 17-14. It was an opportunity for a big win for the Bulldogs in a stretch full of tough foes. LSU is next, Saturday night in Baton Rouge, and Georgia visits the week after.
"This year, we've had one close game and we didn't make the play at the end," Mullen said. "I think that is part of it. You just have to continually do it and when we continually make every play in the game we are going to be a championship level football team."
LSU will be a particularly acute challenge considering what happened last year. The Bulldogs had the ball on the Tiger goal line late but couldn't punch it in with four tries. State was literally inches away from tying LSU.
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