By Brad Locke
STARKVILLE – Dan Mullen couldn’t supervise his quarterbacks’ offseason throwing drills, but he knows they weren’t up to his standards.
In Tuesday’s practice, Mississippi State’s second in full pads this spring, the throws of quarterbacks Tyson Lee and Chris Relf were “way off,” as Mullen put it. The first-year coach said the only explanation is poor offseason work.
“Obviously, they didn’t throw that much, because they’re not very accurate,” Mullen said. “Whatever they thought they were doing is probably 100 times less than what they need to be doing, if you want to be a great quarterback.”
Mullen knows quarterbacks, having coached some pretty good ones, including Alex Smith at Utah and Tim Tebow at Florida.
Lee attributed the accuracy issues to bad timing with the receivers, but Mullen thinks repetition is the only cure for his QBs.
“Throwing a football’s a lot like swinging a golf club – you’ve just got to do it over and over, 10,000 times,” Mullen said. “You keep doing it, all of a sudden you start hitting balls straight.
“When you keep throwing the ball, you’re going to start throwing it straight, so we’ve just got to keep throwing a lot more.”
n MSU’s quarterbacks have other problems, too, like who’s catching the ball. Only two receivers, Tay Bowser and O’Neal Wilder, were healthy enough to practice Tuesday, and freshman quarterback Cameron Lawrence was moved out there just to have an extra body.
“I’m going to put an ad in the school paper and go watch some intramural football and find some wide receivers, because we’ve got two practicing right now,” Mullen joked. “It’s hard to run a spread offense with two wide receivers on the roster.”
Leave it to the ever-optimistic Lee to see the bright side.
“Being short-handed at receiver, it makes it tough, but it allows other guys to be versatile, too, the running backs and the tight ends,” he said. “It gives them the opportunity to (play) different positions in case there comes a time in a game they have to run something else, they are used to it.”
Tickets going fast
n Wednesday was the deadline for Bulldog Club members to reap the benefits of buying a season tickets package – priority for parking and seat change requests, for instance.
Fans can still get season tickets until May 15. They’re going pretty fast, though.
Athletics director Greg Byrne couldn’t provide a specific figure, but he said sales are ahead of where they were this time last year, when the Bulldogs were coming off a Liberty Bowl win. He credits that in part to Mullen’s arrival.
Scott Stricklin, associate AD for external affairs, said MSU has never sold out of season tickets. He thinks sales could approach the season ticket capacity, which he estimated to be between 38,000 and 40,000.
n Brad Locke blogs about Mississippi State sports at nems360.com/pages/ insidemississippistatesports.