The rains passed through the Starkville area on Saturday afternoon just in time for coach Dan Mullen and his Mississippi State Bulldogs to hold their final scrimmage of fall camp.
The end result was a satisfied head coach.
“There were a lot of teachable moments for the young guys when we got into the stadium,” said Mullen. “We played it very much like a game just so guys could get sort of a game feel.
“We didn’t get very complicated on purpose. Schematically, it wasn’t about who could out scheme who or run a trick play to confuse the other side. This was get kids in the stadium and let kids play so we know who is ready to go play in two weeks.”
After two grueling weeks of two-a-days and countless hours in the film rooms, Mullen feels he is getting close to being able to find the players he can count on when the season gets underway.
“Hopefully, we’ve got about 65 or 70 guys ready to go play for us,” he said. “If we’ve got 70 guys ready to go play in an SEC football game, we’ll be OK.”
If you’re looking for standout players beyond the usual candidates, Mullen mentioned a few who have certainly earned the right to be on the field this fall.
“Jameon (Lewis) did pretty good today, (and) Derek Milton ran the ball hard and he’ll be able to get on the field some for us,” Mullen said. “Dee Arrington had a nice interception for us in the scrimmage. Jamerson Love made a couple nice plays on the ball. Those are guys that are going to get some reps.”
As for State’s starting quarterback, Tyler Russell, he’s right on target.
“He was 32 of 35 for 478 yards,” said Mullen with a hearty laugh. “No really, I thought he was good. I thought he started slow and not really in a game mentality. He was really practicing his demeanor. In practice mode, he is thinking about his reads and his steps and I want him to let it go and lead like it was a game. As things went along, he did a much better job of that.”
The Bulldogs now have a couple of days off to get ready for the start of the fall semester. They’ll return to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon, turning their attention to Jackson State.