We got one last look at Mississippi State this morning at South Farm, as the team begins two-a-days tomorrow completely out of public view. So let me share a few observations.
• During seven-on-seven drills (a.k.a. skeleton drills), Darius Slay, Damein Anderson and Nickoe Whitley all made interceptions. Slay picked off Tyler Russell on a tipped ball, while Anderson and Whitley victimized Dylan Favre. Whitley’s play was especially impressive, as he leapt high near the sideline, tipped the ball, caught it and kept his feet inbounds.
• During 11-on-11 hurry-up work, Russell kept getting tackled to the ground, first on a running play and then on a corner blitz. Freshman QB Dak Prescott didn’t shy away from contact, lowering his shoulder into a defensive back on a keeper.
Also, Dan Mullen got fed up with his defense and the defensive coaches and made them run gassers in the middle of the 11-on-11.
Some nice catches were made during this period by Ricco Sanders, Michael Carr and Sam Williams, the latter of whom I thought had a strong day.
• Favre made some really nice throws, as well as some ill-advised throws. It’s a recurring theme with the redshirt freshman.
• Senior tailback Robert Elliott had some nice moves out there. Still running third team, though.
• Linebacker Brandon Maye got a few snaps with both the first and second teams during team drills.
• One of the final drills of the day was a back-to-the-wall exercise: Place the ball at the 1-yard line, and the offense tries to get a first down. If it does, the defense runs gassers.
All three QBs got the job done – Relf and Favre on the ground, Russell through the air.
• The final bit of work was field goals, and that didn’t go so well for the kickers. Four kicks were blocked, although two of those were simply drilled right into the back of the offensive line. I lost count of all the misses, but only one went between the uprights.
• During a three-on-three short-yardage drill, tailback Vick Ballard ran through the line untouched, as defensive tackles Josh Boyd and Fletcher Cox were well-handled by Gabe Jackson and Tobias Smith.
• Tailback LaDarius Perkins, who left Saturday’s practice with flu-like symptoms, was running around like normal.