By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s final week of spring practice didn’t start according to plan, but Dan Mullen easily adjusted.
The head coach had to take the Bulldogs inside the Palmeiro Center on Tuesday due to steady rains, and he had to flip the script. Mullen had wanted to do some more scrimmaging Tuesday, then a lot of situational work Thursday.
He’s not too concerned about having to flip-flop the schedule.
“Really the last two main practices being Tuesday and Thursday this week, we’re getting done what we need to get done,” Mullen said. “Put guys in a lot of adverse situations and hopefully get things that we need to get and just look at a couple of things, so it’s in guys’ minds heading into summer.”
MSU has two more scheduled practices before holding its annual Maroon-White spring game at 5 p.m. Saturday. During Tuesday’s work, a lot of personnel swapping was going on, with offensive tackles being shuffled around and various defensive alignments put to use.
Newcomers Denico Autry and Quay Evans continued to show their steady development on the defensive line, while tailback Derrick Milton excelled in the red zone.
There were several dropped passes, too.
“I thought today was pretty sloppy,” Mullen said. “I think there were a couple of times today where guys are just playing but not understanding the situation we just put them in, and you saw some errors out there on the field that we have to coach from, and that’s experience for game day.”
Mullen was back after missing Friday’s scrimmage, due to his wife giving birth to the couple’s second child. He watched the scrimmage film Saturday morning and said the first-team offense and second-team defense “won the scrimmage.” He also thought the scrimmage was run smoothly by his assistants.
“There was a lot I liked, a lot I didn’t like,” Mullen said. “It was better than I thought it would be, which was good.”
Starting quarterback Tyler Russell threw three interceptions during the scrimmage, but he wasn’t too discouraged after watching the tape.
Talking about one of his picks, Russell said, “I tried to force a long throw when I should’ve just checked it down and moved on, even if we had to punt. Just little things like that. I took what I needed to take out of it, and you’ve just got to get better.”