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MSU football players to be on display

April 21, 2012

MSU football coach Dan Mullen is ready to show off his team to fans. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

The Mississippi State Bulldogs put a bow on spring football Thursday afternoon and tonight they’ll put on the annual Maroon-White football exhibition.

This year’s classic features a 60-yard football field and a Sugarland concert in an effort to bring excitement to spring football.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is that everyobody gets excited and shows up at the stadium and that’s great but then about 5-10 minutes into the game the excitement seeps out like air out of a balloon, because it is a glorified practice or scrimmage,” said MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “This was an attempt to keep that excitement and energy going. We don’t ever want to be caught with the grass growing under our feet.”

Bulldog head football coach Dan Mullen will be focused on the football portion of the weekend, but he agrees the evening is much bigger than just MSU football.

“Spring game weekend is an event," Mullen said. "It is not just about football because it’s tennis championships, it’s baseball, concerts, art festival, you name it and it is going on. It is just a really neat weekend here in Starkville.”

However, if you’re interested in football, you’re sure to see Tyler Russell and the Maroon team offense put on a show as it showcases their weapons of Ladarius Perkins and newcomer Joe Morrow.

While there won't be an 80-yard scoring catch from Morrow, the freshman should make a couple of eye-popping catches.

This veteran trio has turned in a solid spring as many expected and are proving to be the leaders Mississippi State has been searching for.

The White team features freshman quarterback Dak Prescott who has shown promise during the first two scrimmages this spring. He’ll no doubt look to find the veteran duo of Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith in order to get the offense going.

The White defensive team has a pair of relatively new faces in the lineup from Morton, with Quay Evans (defensive tackle) and Taveze Calhoun (defensive back). They’ll play in addition to standouts Josh Boyd (defensive tackle) and Denico Autry (defensive end).

The Maroon defensive squad highlights the play of familiar names such as former East Webster player Johnthan Banks and Cam Lawrence and relies on the defensive backs to slow down Prescott’s attack.

Play begins shortly after 5 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and you can purchase your $25 ticket for access to the action and country music extravaganza.

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