Blog Bag Answers: Off-Week Edition

Sure, it’s an off week for MSU, but y’all still gave me a few good questions. So here are a few good answers. Have a great weekend.

Q: What is the status of Tyler Russell‘s throwing hand? Had people at Troy see it wrapped and iced at game’s end.

A: I asked Dan Mullen about that on Tuesday. His answer: “He’s fine.” So I guess we can’t blame that for his poor performance against South Alabama.

Q: With all the offseason talk around freshman defensive lineman Quay Evans, it doesn’t seem like he’s been on the field too much. I know I saw him toward the end of the USA game, but I can’t specifically recall anything else. Any reason why we haven’t seen more of him?

A: Not sure how many snaps he’s gotten, and this question was asked after all of this week’s media availabilities had passed. But, it’s a deep group on the defensive line, so it’s tough to get a lot of snaps even for a talented guy like Evans. I think you’ll see his role steadily increase as the season goes on. That’s a good question for me to ask Chris Wilson next week.

Q: Are the defensive coaches saving blitz packages for SEC foes? If so, why not work on it in game situations so if there are kinks in the schemes they would know what to fix prior to facing an SEC opponent?

A: I asked Mullen whether MSU’s low sack total – it has five – was due to not blitzing a lot or the type of offenses it’s faced. His reply: “A little bit of both. I think a little bit of both. I would like to get our (blitz) package a little bit higher. The last two games we played teams that really get the ball out quick and they don’t throw the ball down the field very often. And their quarterbacks weren’t holding it very long. It is something that is a concern for us. I want to make sure we get pressure on the quarterback.”

Q: Our interior offensive line seems to be a stronger unit than our outside offensive lineman. I don’t really think they have gotten a true test yet. What are your thoughts?

A: No question, the interior line is the strength of that unit. Gabe Jackson and Tobias Smith – when healthy – are All-SEC guards. Justin Malone, who has spelled Smith the last two games, is a promising young talent. And Dillon Day has really been solid in his second year at center.

The tackles are still having issues. Blaine Clausell on the left can be beat, and he tends to draw flags. Charles Siddoway and Damien Robinson are splitting time on the right side, and while Siddoway has been the starter, he’s not played well enough to fully secure that job.

I am the online content coordinator for Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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