Details on MSU football scrimmage kept secret
All results of Friday night's first preseason scrimmage for the Mississippi State football team are being kept as classified material.
No media or public were allowed to witness it, no stats were kept from the proceedings and when MSU players were asked about any details at all, memories of the event seemed to vanish.
When asked specifically if he remembered if he threw a touchdown pass, MSU red-shirt freshman quarterback Tyler Russell said he couldn't recall doing so.
"I'm not sure, we went out there and competed," Russell said. "We made a lot of plays and the defense made a lot of plays as well. I made a lot of good throws out there."
The confusion continued when MSU head coach Dan Mullen, who classified the preseason scrimmage as more critical for the newcomers, denied that a lot of veterans were held out of play Friday night.
"No,” Mullen said. “We counted the number of reps, making sure the right guys got the right number of reps.”
The Bulldogs head coach minutes later was contradicted by senior defensive end Pernell McPhee as the second-team all-conference lineman responded by saying he did not play one snap Friday night.
“That’s true,” McPhee said. “I mean we didn’t play no snaps but we got a lot of conditioning in. We got killed during conditioning drills like it was a boot camp or something.”
Mullen described the scrimmage as more of way to get situational drills in some form of live action and came away from the event with a better understanding of how the depth chart may be formed on Sept. 4 when the Bulldogs host Memphis in the season opener.
“A lot of first-game mistakes that were made,” Mullen said. “Played it just like a game. Silly things that we’ve got to get corrected. Alignment issues and all of those things that a lot of times you see in the first game, we’ve got that stuff fixed.”
Mississippi State has also moved defensive end Shane McCardell to wide receiver and he has worked out with that position group for the last week of practices. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore has played in nine career games for MSU and totaled one tackle and one quarterback hurry in that span.
On the injury front, sophomore offensive lineman Tobias Smith was restricted from media interview access Saturday afternoon after what MSU officials clarified was due to him suffering a “minor injury”.