Young Players Take Center Stage Tonight

Music City Bowl: MSU (6-6) vs. Wake Forest (6-6), Dec. 30, 5:40 p.m., ESPN (Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham and Jeannine Edwards)

Hey, we’re exactly two weeks away from the big game in Nashville. And today marks the end of what coach Dan Mullen called “phase one” of bowl preparations. The Bulldogs will hold a scrimmage at 5 p.m. today at Davis Wade Stadium, and it’s open to the public (no admission charge!).

Here’s my story on the young guys, who are the focus of today’s work. It continues the theme of the week.

“It gives those guys an idea of what it’s really like,” Mullen said. “A lot of young players have not been in the mix. They don’t even understand practice all the time. This week gives them an opportunity to understand what spring’s going to be like when we’re counting on them to take that next step forward.”

I’ll be down there to cover the scrimmage. Hopefully, this rain will be gone by that point.

Also in the above-linked notebook is some new info on QB Tyler Russell, who isn’t expected to be 100 percent for the bowl game but is expected to play. In other words, who knows.

“Right now he can’t move,” Mullen said yesterday. “We are going to be catious, probably give him a couple of days of practice game week, a day on and day off and do some of the same going up there so that he is ready to play in the game.”

Also noted is the departure of freshman defensive lineman James Maiden, who Mullen said tried to leave earlier this semester but was talked into staying until semester’s end.

“He wanted to go and be back closer to home and I think he was homesick and wanted to go home,” said Mullen.

• If you’ve not listed to the Bulldog Beat today, well, you missed a really good interview with Logan Lowery of BulldogBlitz.com. We talked recruiting, of course. It’ll be up in the on-demand section, though, plus the show will cycle back around later.

• I’ll have Blog Bag answers for you later today, I hope. The bag, it overfloweth.