Friday Afternoon Practice Notebook

Mississippi State wrapped up day-two of preseason camp with the second practice of the day. This time it was the second and third teams participating, after the starters and newcomers or reserves went at it in the morning session. And the script ran exactly the same, right down to the number of snaps in drills as well as seven- and eleven-man competition.

The difference from morning to afternoon was who had the best of things. After the first offense set the AM tone against the starting defense, PM play appeared much more even and maybe even tilted to the defense. This was certainly true in 11-on-11 period where no matter what unit was trying to throw or run results were modest at best.

QB Dak Prescott worked with the second offense exclusively, while walk-ons Josh Hand and Sam Cowart took some #2 snaps but mostly were with the threes. Either way the percentage of completions dropped dramatically from the morning, and there were a couple of turnovers. Prescott not only forced a throw over the middle but had bad luck as TE Gus Walley cramped-up at the end of the route. S Kendrick Market came away with the interception. Later it was Hand getting picked as his throw was deflected and caromed into CB Taveze Calhoun.

The pass/skell period was more even, not least because the #2 offense benefited from two starters in the backfield. Both #1 LaDarius Perkins and backup Josh Robinson had missed the morning practice for classes. They shredded the second defense in this seven-man teams setting. Robinson just outran LB Richie Brown down the left numbers for a breakaway catch, and later made a marvelous adjustment as Prescott threw behind him. Robinson stopped and somehow staggered back the other way despite the same Brown obstructing his view and made the catch.

Perkins would have scored twice on linebackers, beating first Deandre Ward over the middle and then blowing past Beniquez Brown later.

The veteran backs were the best receivers of the afternoon too, though WR Joe Morrow did get a chance to use his size and stride down the left sideline to lose CB Jamerson Love and catch Prescott's throw. But WR Brandon Holloway had more drops today including a wide-open out route; while twice more Walley couldn't come down with balls that were deflected for picks including one by Ward.

One limiting factor in the afternoon was lack of offensive linemen. #2 RT Damien Robinson was sidelined a second day with a brace on his right knee, but he got to watch the later periods instead of working in the Pit. His place with the second line was taken by Cole Carter, with RG Archie Muniz, C Dylan Holley, LG Ben Beckwith, and LT Justin Senior. The #3 line was Andre Barber, Raheem Roberson, Muniz at center, Weston Wagner, and Paul Thompson.

The wide receivers positions weren't that well-stocked either as so many frosh worked in the morning. In fact Holloway was the only true slot man available. Morrow, Fred Brown, Jeremy Chappelle, and walk-ons Taylor Henry and Vance Kareems alternated at the two outsides. Tight end did have depth with Walley, Rufus Warren, and Artimas Samuel.

During the stretching and unit drills the music was again going, with as eclectic a mix as could be imagined. The playlist ranged from hard-edged rap which might have burned some tender ears in the audience, to classic country and a whole lot in-between. Though, there might be some lapses in focus from the sounds. During a cornerbacks drill, as ‘In the Air Tonight' reached the transition segment, Will Redmond was pounding air-snares along with Phil Collins on the drum riff.

The #2 defensive line, right to left, was Ryan Brown, Curtis Virges, Nelson Adams, and A.J. Jefferson; with the third grouping John Harris, Jordan Washington, Nick James, and Torrey Dale. Though it needs noting there is no real difference between the units at this point and competition is entertaining here, especially at tackles.

Ferlando Bohanna and R.Brown were the second and third middle linebackers; with Zach Jackson and Beniquez Brown the second-team OLBs ahead of Ward and Ivan Muniz.

Nothing changed at second and third safeties with Kendrick Market and Deontay Evans at strong; Dee Arrington and Quadry Antoine at free. Calhoun and Will Redmond were the second and third right cornerbacks; Love the temporary #2 left corner as he too had a morning class, ahead of #3 Kivon Coman.

Saturday will have the same split-squad approach though the times will differ as there are no class conflicts.

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