Defense Gets in Its Licks in Controlled Scrimmage

The first scrimmage of the spring was a controlled affair, and the defense wound up the winner according to Dan Mullen‘s top-secret scoring system. The defense made one last goal-line stand to close out the day’s work, but both sides had good moments.

Linebacker Deontae Skinner looked impressive, laying the wood to QB Tyler Russell on one occasion. The quarterbacks had on the red jerseys, but the defense didn’t seem to notice. Cornerback Corey Broomfield got to Chris Relf, knocked the ball loose, and scooped it up for an easy trip to the end zone.

“Coach Mullen is going to keep giving them points, (so) if the quarterback keeps going, I’m going to hit him,” Broomfield said.

MSU started the scrimmage with kickoff team work – LaDarius Perkins and Jameon Lewis were the first-team return men – and then the Bulldogs got to scrimmaging. Russell scored on a short TD run, and Lewis later caught a TD pass from Dylan Favre. Perkins then showed his speed on a 65-yard touchdown run.

MSU eventually moved on to third-down work, then “back-to-the-wall” situations, red zone work and finally goal line plays.

The offense found the end zone six times during red zone work, including a fourth-down run by Vick Ballard after he scooped up an errant Relf pitch.

Consistency was an issue on both sides of the ball.

“That’s what happens a lot in spring ball, there’s going to be inconsistency at times, because you’re not on a specific game plan,” coach Dan Mullen said. “But part of that’s learning how to deal with momentum in games.”

Other notes and quotes:

• RB Nick Griffin was held out of contact work after tweaking his left knee while jogging at Friday’s practice. Mullen said it was maybe a light sprain. TE Marcus Green, who’s still not 100 percent from last fall’s knee surgery, was also held out. LB Chris Hughes was shaken up late in practice, but Mullen said just had “his bell rung a little bit.”

• What will Mullen look for on tape of this scrimmage? “I look for effort. I know our coaches are going to look at technique work and assignment work, but for me, I really want to see guys that run to the football and play hard on all three phases.”

Devin Jones, who played defensive tackle last year, continued working at defensive end. He’ll play some tackle, too, though.

• First team offensive line today: James Carmon (LT), Gabe Jackson (LG), Quentin Saulsberry (C), Templeton Hardy (RG), Addison Lawrence (RT).