Mullen: Not just another practice

MULLEN

MULLEN

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Coach Dan Mullen is calling for a crowd of 30,000 at the annual Mississippi State spring game today.

But make no mistake, the noon scrimmage inside Davis Wade Stadium is more than a glorified practice.

“I know some people are getting away from having a spring game but the key for us is having a crowd and a game-like atmosphere for a lot of young players,” Mullen said. “A lot of people are just having another practice where they can control everything. We don’t do that because we want to make it entertaining for the fans.”

Junior running back Josh Robinson has bought in to his coach’s message and has passed it on to some of the younger players participating in their first spring showing.

“The fans are watching and you’ve got to put on a show for them,” Robinson said. “That’s what’s going to sell tickets so you’ve got to put on for them. You’re either going to rise to the challenge or fall behind. You have to go out there and seize the day.”

The Bulldogs roster has been divided up as evenly as possible and there are even stakes on the line for the losing team, which will have to clean the stadium early Sunday morning.

“Dividing the teams up is one of the hardest things to do,” Mullen said. “I went through and tried to balance it to get good matchups at different positions. There’ll be some guys that have to play on both teams just because of numbers.”

Injuries in the trenches

MSU has had a rash of injuries along its offensive and defensive line with as many as 11 possibly missing today’s spring game. Starting offensive linemen Dillon Day and Justin Malone are out as is defensive tackles Kaleb Eulls and P.J. Jones.

“We have an entire offensive and defensive line not practicing and still have quality depth,” Mullen said. “I’m pleased with that because we’re a developmental program.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com