We're almost to single digits on the ol' countdown to kickoff clock. 10 days, Bulldog fans. Let's go to the links.
Mississippi State held a scrimmage Friday night and Dan Mullen focused on getting the underclassmen reps.
MSU ran about 150 plays during the two-hour affair, and Mullen said the backups got about 70 snaps, while several first-teamers sat out or saw very limited field time. Mullen is trying to get his non-starters as ready as possible for the Sept. 1 season opener at Memphis.
"There are some guys that played 70 plays last night that we’re counting on playing 10-15 against Memphis," he said Saturday. "They need to learn that, so when they’re number’s called they’re ready to go play."
BDJ has another look at the Bulldogs' scrimmage.
Mullen stated that neither the first team offense or defense were ever on the field at any point during the scrimmage. Naturally that mean a lot of mixing and matching on the offensive line as well.
"(The second team offensive line was) very up and down," Mullen said. "I think the hard thing with that is when you go into a scrimmage like that and pulling a lot of starters, when you go wholesale - that's when they look rougher. When we start rotating the Damien Robinson's and the Blaine Clausell's and the Dillon Day's early with the ones individually rolling guys through, then they play at a higher level than wholesale when we sub the twos. We've got to get them to play at that level consistently."
Gene's Page has more notes about the scrimmage.
"We got what we wanted accomplished. Which is putting young guys in situations that they’re going to have to get ready to play in a game. There were some positives and some negatives of it. There are some things that guys aren’t quite game-ready for. But a lot of the guys that aren’t quite game-ready that were playing seventy reps yesterday, when we get to game week are probably only going to be playing 15 reps in a game. So they have to learn to flip that switch; their level on those 15 plays needs to be much higher than what we saw in the seventy on them yesterday. "But we got what we wanted out of it. We stayed relatively healthy out of it. And those guys got a lot of reps and game situations in our stadium atmosphere."
As The Clarion Ledger begins its position breakdown, Brandon Marcello looks at quarterback Chris Relf.
The quarterback astonished fans and coaches with his late-season surge in 2010, when the barely-recruited Montgomery, Ala., native threw for 794 yards and tossed six touchdowns with two interceptions in the final three games.
It was the best stretch - he also rushed for 260 yards - in his career as State went 2-1, knocking off bitter rival Ole Miss for the second year straight before handing Michigan its worst bowl-game loss in its history.
Special teams have been a worry during fall camp. The Clarion Ledger looks at the kickers and punters that make up the Bulldogs.
Enter Western Illinois transfer Brian Egan, the long-awaited answer to State's kickoff woes, said DePasquale, State's leading field goal kicker. "The kid has got a golden foot," said DePasquale, a senior. "It's big. His kickoffs are unreal. I don't even try any more. I just stop trying. He's got that spot locked down."
Said Egan: "Kickoff has been going really well for me."
A number of Bulldogs attended the highly anticipated matchup against South Panola and West Point (USP won 37-17).
The South Panola-West Point game Saturday night not only attracted over 7,000 fans to Hamblin Stadium but also several Mississippi State players as well. Here are just a few of the guys I bumped into - Michael Carr, Kendrick Market, Fletcher Cox, Chad Bumphis, Devin Fosselman and 2011 signee Justin Cox. There were also several former MSU players on West Point's sideline - coaches Casey Welch and Brett Morgan along with trainer Will Prosser.