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franklin county times

Dunn looks to fill holes on MSU defense

By Staff
TALKING FOOTBALL n Coach Joe Lee Dunn talks a little football with Bubba Hampton, left, and Harry Mayer, right. Photo by Steve Swoetinsky/The Meridian Star
By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
June 5, 2001
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn says he has five standouts who could play anywhere in the country. At this point, the rest are suspects.
Dunn's returning starting five include Conner Stephens (6-4, 250, Sr.), Dorsett Davis (6-6, 314, Sr.) and Mario Haggan (6-3, 253, Jr.) in the front seven, and Pig Prather (6-2, 195, Sr.) and Josh Morgan (6-1, 194, Jr.) in the secondary.
Considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, Dunn is entering his sixth season at Mississippi State under head coach Jackie Sherrill. He described last year as a difficult one for the defense, even though the Bulldogs finished 8-4 and claimed victories over Florida, Auburn and Alabama. Most distressing, he noted, were losses to Arkansas and Ole Miss.
Dunn discussed playing in the snow at the Independence Bowl where the Bulldogs claimed a 43-41 overtime win over Texas A&M.
Mississippi State opens the season on Sept. 3 in a Monday night game against Memphis State. After hosting Brigham Young on Sept. 15, the Bulldogs play South Carolina Sept. 20 in a Thursday night game.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.