QB battle highlights MSU spring

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State’s final full-pad run-through has Dan Mullen itching for Saturday to get here.
The Bulldogs’ second-year coach liked what he saw in Thursday’s session, but now he wants to see how it translates onto Scott Field for Saturday’s annual Maroon-White spring game, which starts at 5 p.m.
“I want to see some guys make some plays in the stadium that hadn’t made a lot of plays in the stadium,” Mullen said. “Chris Relf’s played in pressure-packed situations in front of large crowds – Tyler Russell hasn’t. I want to see how our guys respond when we have a huge crowd and exciting atmosphere.”
Relf and Russell are locked in a battle for starting quarterback. Mullen has not committed to whether he’ll play one or both come fall, but he’s using the QB competition to promote the spring game, urging fans to come out and make their own judgment on which should start.
No doubt that’s part of Mullen’s push to get 40,000 fans in the seats at Davis Wade Stadium. A record crowd of 30,000-plus showed up last year.
But back to Thursday’s practice, the Bulldogs worked on several different sets, using free safety Johnthan Banks, for instance, at cornerback in dime packages.
“We mixed up a lot of different combinations and let a lot of different guys get reps so we can see what they’re doing here at the end of spring,” Mullen said. “I was pretty pleased with what happened.”
Today’s practice will be a walk-through. The Maroon and White rosters will be selected today, which marks the beginning of the 25th annual Super Bulldog Weekend.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571
or brad.locke@djournal.com