Friday bowl practice notes

Freshman quarterback Elijah Staley practiced with the football team on Friday while the basketball team was out of town. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Freshman quarterback Elijah Staley practiced with the football team on Friday while the basketball team was out of town. (Logan Lowery/ Daily Journal)

Mississippi State held its second bowl practice Friday afternoon after holding a closed initial bowl workout last Saturday.

It was just the second practice that has been open this season and first since August.

Here are a few notes I jotted down in my notebook while I was out there….

Freshman quarterback Elijah Staley practiced just as head men’s basketball coach Rick Ray said he would when his team was on the road. Staley began practicing with the basketball team last week but will participate in bowl practices while the Bulldogs are on the road like they are right now in Corvallis, Ore.

Several players were wearing different numbers at practice than what is assigned to them on game day. Redshirt freshman tight end B.J. Hammond and freshman wide receiver Jesse Jackson were both wearing No. 88. Redshirt freshmen offensive linemen Kent Flowers and Jake Thomas donned No. 76 and No. 70 respectively while freshman wide receiver Jamoral Graham wore No. 9.

If I had to pick a practice MVP from Friday it would be redshirt freshman Gabe Myles. Myles made some unbelievable plays out there and looked to be the most explosive weapon on either side of the ball.

During 7-on-7, Myles and sophomore safety Kivon Coman both came down with a pass and wrestled over the ball for several seconds while Myles was pulling Coman towards the end zone. Coman stripped the ball away right about the same time as it crossed the goal line. Would’ve been an interesting replay had it been available.

During the pass skeleton drill, sophomore quarterback Damian Williams connected with Myles for a 45-yard completion.

Junior tight end Darrion Hutcherson showed off some good hands on a crossing route over the middle. However, later in the scrimmage he couldn’t hang on to a pass from Staley and tipped it in the air right into the awaiting arms of a walk-on defensive back.

Junior quarterback Dak Prescott made an excellent pass over the heads and outstretched arms of three defenders right over the shoulder for Myles to grab. It was the perfect pass in that situation.

Prescott later connected with junior receiver Joe Morrow on a go route for a long touchdown. Morrow had blown past redshirt freshman Jahmere Irvin-Sills in coverage.

Freshman quarterback Nick Fitzgerald had a 35-yard completion to senior tight end Brandon Hill across the middle.

Senior cornerback Jamerson Love had a great pass break-up while in coverage against Jackson.

Myles made a highlight reel diving catch on the left sideline on a pass from Staley.

Prescott hooked up with Jackson on a 70-yard touchdown pass streaking down the right sideline.

Williams tossed a 50-yard completion to Graham over the middle. Graham may have been able to score had he kept his balance.

During the scrimmage, Irvin-Sills forced and recovered a fumble.

Sophomore wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson was shaken up after landing hard on a jump ball in the end zone and had to sit out for several series.

On the final play, Prescott connected with Wilson on a similar play for a touchdown. Wilson went up over junior cornerback Will Redmond to haul in the score.

Junior left guard Justin Malone did not practice and is not expected to until Wednesday while resting his surgically repaired foot that kept him out the final 12 games last season. Sophomore Jamaal Clayborn filled in with the first unit and Flowers worked with the second team at left guard.

I asked Dan Mullen after practice about the status of senior right tackle Damien Robinson and his potential medical redshirt. Mullen said they wouldn’t find out anything from the NCAA until after the season.

During the scrimmage, redshirt freshman Brandon Wells and true freshman Brandon Bryant got several reps at safety with the ones.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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