STARKVILLE – Mississippi State players reported back for fall camp raving about running a hurry up offense this year.
Coach Dan Mullen denied the claim but the Bulldogs did, in fact, go no-huddle on Saturday.
MSU amassed 550 yards running a balanced attack – 201 yards on the ground and 349 through the air. The Bulldogs had 387 yards and led 28-0 by halftime.
“We had some silly turnovers on offense and I’m a little disappointed in that,” coach Dan Mullen. “But the good thing about it is that you get the win, get to evaluate and guys get to see where we’re at.”
Sophomore running back Ashton Shumpert did not dress for Saturday’s opener while serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
The former Itawamba AHS standout and 2012 Daily Journal Offensive Player of the Year appeared in 12 games for State last season, including two starts. Shumpert rushed 46 times for 190 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Thirteen MSU players appeared in their first game on Saturday, including three first-year players – kicker Westin Graves and tight ends Darrion Hutcherson and Rashun Dixon.
Redshirt freshmen defensive backs Jahmere Irvin-Sills and Brandon Wells, wide receiver Gabe Myles, linebackers Dezmond Harris and Kelan Chairs, athlete Broderick Oliver, RB Bennie Braswell, offensive linemen Kent Flowers and Jake Thomas and snapper Hunter Bradley all made their debuts.
On the opening drive, MSU debuted its new no-huddle offense and marched 87 yards in nine plays, scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to De’Runnya Wilson.
Key number: 61,889
State set a new attendance record with 61,889 fans. It surpasses the previous record of 58,103 set against Alabama in 2009. It continued a streak of 31 consecutive sellouts at Davis Wade Stadium.
“We wanted to do what we needed to within our program and within the offfense. We want to get better at the small things and do things right. I think we’re headed in the right direction.” – MSU quarterback Dak Prescott.
Mississippi State continues its homestand hosting UAB on Saturday at 6 p.m. on FSN. MSU won 21-3 in 2011 in Birmingham.
The Bulldogs improved to 13-14-1 against Southern Miss. … State has won the last three meetings over the Golden Eagles. … Dan Mullen is now 7-0 against Conference USA opponents. … Kendrick Market and Christian Holmes led MSU with six tackles each. … Chris Jones, Nelson Adams and Quadry Antione each had a sack. … Preston Smith and Jay Hughes both had interceptions.