BY LOGAN LOWERY
STARKVILLE – Training camp has reached a pivotal point for Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs are in their final week of camp before school starts back on Monday. Dan Mullen has a pair of two-a-day practices scheduled this week, two single day practices and the second scrimmage of the fall slated for Friday.
“This is the most important week for us,” Mullen said. “The instillation is in and there’s no school going on. It’s just football. We’ve got two practices (Tuesday) and two more on Thursday. When you have those double days and can get after it, it’s a full day of football. It’s huge developmental and preparation time.”
MSU went through its first two-a-day session of the week on Tuesday. With the heat index reaching the mid-90’s, Mullen seemed happy with how his team handled the heat and humidity.
“We battled pretty good,” Mullen said. “It got hot there at the end. Hopefully the sun will stay out and it’ll be a really hot week. I want to put guys in adverse conditions and see how they handle them like they’ll have to during the course of the season. The practice schedule is designed to see how they’ll handle those kinds of adversity.”
The Bulldogs will conclude training camp on Saturday night and take Sunday off before settling into the routine of afternoon practices after class starting on Monday.
State held its initial scrimmage of the fall on Saturday inside Davis Wade Stadium.
With the scrimmage closed to the media and public, Mullen addressed the performance in his first availability since.
“It was good and bad,” Mullen said. “I thought it was a really good scrimmage but we want to have a great team. We have to play above where we’ve ever played before. The guys felt it was a good scrimmage and was wondering why I was disappointed. I agreed it was a good scrimmage but we’re not looking to be good. We’re looking to be great so our level of play in every phase and every play has to be at a whole other level if we’re going to win a championship this year.”
Sophomore Cedric Jiles was expected to be the fourth cornerback in MSU’s rotation this fall.
But those plans were halted as the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out to start the year.
“Cedric Jiles is going to be out with a hamstring injury,” Mullen said. “He’ll probably be out for a significant amount of time right now to start out the season. Everybody else is battling through all the bumps and bruises.”
Jiles appeared in three games as a true freshman in 2012 before a hand injury cost him the remainder of the year. He received a medical redshirt and saw 11 games of action including three starts last season and finishing with 20 tackles.
BY LOGAN LOWERY