This week’s game: MSU (2-0) at Troy (1-1), Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN3.com (Shawn Kenny and John Bunting)
In today’s Journal you can find the usual coverage from Monday’s football press conference. A big topic of discussion was Tyler Russell, who was named the SEC offensive player of the week after his performance against Auburn. He was the topic of my main story today.
We already knew what kind of arm Russell had. What he showed in the 28-10 win over Auburn was the ability to make smart decisions and hit big throws at the right time.
“He understands when he wants to take a chance and when he doesn’t,” head coach Dan Mullen said. “I think in the evolution, when you understand the offense, you can spend a lot of time asking the question, ‘Why?’ What did you see, why did you do this? And expect a very intelligent answer.”
The ability to take calculated risks hasn’t always been a strength of Russell’s.
“There was some teaching of that, too,” offensive coordinator Les Koenning. “We were at the (South) Farm, I guess you recall that, remember when they kept throwing the ball deep? Well, we ran back from the Farm; we didn’t drive the car back, we ran back. Well, obviously it got a point across. Dan’s 100 percent right. He’s taking those calculated risks, he’s got a good plan, he’s playing with some confidence.”
Also in today’s Journal is a notebook that leads off with MSU being properly focused on this week’s opponent. A notable stat that’s included: Under Mullen, MSU is 5-0 against non-SEC teams when coming off an SEC win. Overall, Mullen is 8-10 after a win, including a 6-0 mark against non-SEC teams in such scenarios.
Let’s check around the SEC this morning: With QB Tyler Wilson‘s status up in the air, Arkansas is trying to press on after Saturday’s stunning loss to UL-Monroe. … Auburn coach Gene Chizik is sticking with QB Kiehl Frazier. … Have you seen this? Yeah…