Heat drives Bulldogs inside

8TB6_MSU_primary_logoBy Brad Locke
Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State escaped the heat Thursday and got in the kind of strong work Dan Mullen likes to see this close to the season opener.

The Bulldogs, who open the 2013 season on Aug. 31 versus No. 13 Oklahoma State in Houston, practiced inside the Palmeiro Center after spending the previous couple of days in 90-degree heat.

They did some situational scrimmage work, not allowing to-the-ground tackling, and Mullen liked what he saw.

“I liked the approach of the guys,” Mullen said. “It was, hey, just get on, what’s the next situation? Let’s make the play and not (be) worrying about the last play or worrying about the next couple of plays. It was take care of what was going on that individual play.”

Quarterback Tyler Russell, a fifth-year senior, was asked what in particular stood out about the offense’s work Thursday.

“Just everybody being on the same page,” he said. “The defense brought a lot of different looks and different blitzes, and the offensive line, running backs, receivers, everybody was on the same page.”
Johnson ready to go

MSU has seen a spate of minor injuries hit its tight ends and receivers this month, but Mullen feels confident that most of the banged-up players will be ready for the Oklahoma State game.

Starting tight end Malcolm Johnson has been taking it easy in practice, but Mullen said that “he’s going to be ready to play the game.”

Backup tight end Rufus Warren will be a game-time decision. Receiver Jeremey Chappelle is back at full speed, while Fred Brown is being held out of contact.

“They all scrimmaged today even with the red jerseys on, because we’ve got to get ready for the game. We expect them all to play,” Mullen said.

Limit on autographs
MSU is holding its annual fan day on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Palmeiro Center. In light of the autograph scandal involving Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, MSU has taken measures to limit autograph requests to one per person.

Players will only sign the official 2013 MSU football posters, which the athletic department will provide.

brad.locke@journalinc.com