Recapping MSU's season-opening 56-9 win over Jackson State at Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday night.
MSU's 2012 campaign got off on the right foot. The Bulldogs staked an early lead, scoring 35 first-half points before JSU finally got on the board just before halftime. There were notable performances by quarterback Tyler Russell, tailback LaDarius Perkins, cornerback Darius Slay and linebacker Matthew Wells, among others.
Plenty of youngsters saw their first college playing time, including Joe Morrow, Quay Evans, Nick James and Derrick Milton. Several of them made good early impressions, especially Evans and James, a pair of big defensive tackles. They were on the field for both of MSU's pick-sixes, and then James forced a fumble that MSU recovered.
Russell was solid, completing 15 of 23 for 175 yards and two touchdowns, his longest pass covering 18 yards. Arceto Clark had three catches for 36 yards, while Milton wound up the leading rusher, with 65 yards on eight carries. He scored State's final touchdown on a 19-yard run.
Starting tailback LaDarius Perkins got light work, carrying eight times for 50 yards and two TDs, all in the first half. Three other running backs saw work, and Jameon Lewis got a couple of rushes out of the wildcat formation. Lewis had a nice game, making three catches for 32 yards and rushing those two times for 11 yards. Four of his touches resulted in first downs, including three on third down.
The defense had a lot of nice moments. Slay had a 52-yard interception return for touchdown in the second quarter, making it 35-0. In the third, Matthew Wells had a pick-six from 22 yards out. Slay finished with two tackles, while Wells had a team-high five stops, a sack and a pass break-up.
We've got a lot of things we can go over and teach off this film out of this game," head coach Dan Mullen said. "We got a lot of guys some reps, got a lot of guys experience, a lot of guys played football for the first time. And there's a little bit of everything we can go through and teach this week, and hopefully see a great improvement in our team between now and next Saturday's SEC kickoff game."
MSU finished with 377 yards – 194 rushing, 183 passing. JSU had 265 total yards – 109 rushing, 156 passing. Tiger quarterback Dedric McDonald was 14 of 27 for 136 yards, a touchdown and two picks. Rico Richardson made seven catches for 95 yards.
The first TD of the year was a 9-yard pass from Russell to Chad Bumphis, who did not have another catch after that.
MSU returns to action next week against SEC Western Division foe Auburn (11 a.m., ESPN).
MSU – Chad Bumphis 9 pass from Tyler Russell (Devon Bell kick), 11:19 (8 plays, 62 yards, 3:41)
MSU – LaDarius Perkins 7 run (Bell kick), 4:33 (4 plays, 42 yards, 1:49)
MSU – Perkins 1 run (Bell kick), 13:41 (9 plays, 52 yards, 4:11)
MSU – Marcus Green 13 pass from Russell (Bell kick), 4:44 (12 plays, 63 yards, 5:44)
MSU – Darius Slay 52 INT return (Charlie Grandfield kick), 2:32
JSU – E.J. Drewery 9 pass from Dedric McDonald (kick failed), :45 (8 plays, 93 yards, 1:47)
MSU – Dak Prescott 2 run (Grandfield kick), 5:55 (11 plays, 77 yards, 5:48)
MSU – Matthew Wells 22 INT return (Grandfield kick), 4:49
JSU – Ryan Deising 25 field goal, 9:13 (15 plays, 84 yards, 7:05)
MSU – Derrick Milton 19 run (Grandfield kick), 6:52 (5 plays, 71 yards, 2:12)