When Mississippi State played at Middle Tennessee this past season, Blue Raiders defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was conducting an informal interview — and he didn’t even know it.
Mississippi State ended up winning 27-6, but the Bulldogs had just 333 yards. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was impressed by Diaz’s Blue Raiders defense.
“After that game, I made sure I put his bio in my file,” said Mullen, who just completed his first season. “I said, ‘If anything ever happens, this guy is an interesting guy for us to keep track of because he does think outside the box.’ ”