The Mississippi State Bulldogs will play host to their second straight opponent from Conference USA when the UAB Blazers come to Starkville Saturday afternoon.

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen discussed the Bulldogs’ next opponent with the media at his weekly press conference Tuesday and said he’d like to see more players in action this week after last week’s 49-0 rout of Southern Miss.

It seems Mullen is sticking to the philosophy of playing almost everyone he has in early-season games against relatively mild opponents for the purposes of evaluating his entire roster in live action. After all, college football doesn’t have a preseason, but Southern Miss and UAB could serve a similar purpose (Southern Miss has only one win since 2011, and it came against UAB by 35 points; neither opponent should make the Bulldogs sweat).

Plenty of players saw the field on defense in Week 1, as 29 different Bulldogs recorded a tackle against Southern Miss. Six different players recorded a carry in that game, and 10 different players had at least one reception.

Mullen even sat starting quarterback Dak Prescott for a series in the first half against Southern Miss just to evaluate backup Damian Williams.

The Bulldogs’ head coach admitted Tuesday he hopes to be able to play this many bodies all season, relying on depth to overcome potential injuries and late-season fatigue.

“I want to see us roll players through a bunch. I’d like for us to be able to do that throughout the course of the season. It brings comfort,” Mullen said, adding, “I think by us getting used to playing different players, if we are hit with an injury, guys are used to this other guy already being on the field because he’s played a bunch or he’s rotated in with different groups on both sides of the ball. I think that helps you, and it keeps guys fresh.”

Mullen’s final point, staying fresh throughout the long season, will be especially critical this season in an SEC West division in which five of the seven teams are currently ranked in the top 25. Mississippi State is on the cusp of being ranked itself, and if it can have fresher, healthier bodies in key November contests, it could have an advantage on the field.

“Nobody played more than 32 defensive snaps in the game, which for us is what we want – guys that are fresh being able to play for four quarters and being able play at very high speed and high level for four quarters.”

It remains to be seen just how many players will see the field Saturday against UAB. Kickoff from Davis Wade Stadium is slated for 2 PM ET.