Second Scrimmage Results Satisfy Mullen

Mississippi State certainly made the most of the second major scrimmage this preseason, working under the Scott Field lights longer into the evening than expected. Of course it took a while to get what Coach Dan Mullen estimated at 150 or more snaps completed, which should keep the staff busy all night evaluating.

And unlike the first scrimmage of a week ago, Mullen was much more upbeat in discussing the results. "A good night," he said. "We had a lot of good work, a lot of stuff to teach off of. I mean there are a lot of good things, a lot of bad things, a lot of things we've got to evaluate on film and see. We got a lot of guys a lot of different plays, put a lot of guys in a lot of situations. So a lot of teaching for our guys."

A whole lot of lots to be sure. But of course Mississippi State had a lot to get done Thursday night. The Bulldogs can see the training camp phase coming to an end with fall semester classes starting next week. Normally this would have Mullen and staff ramping up the preseason pressure…yet they aren't. In a surprise move that even the other coaches weren't aware of, Mullen had the team report Wednesday for a different sort of bowling trip. Count that as quite an endorsement of what the Bulldogs have been able to get done so far, and where things stand with one final two-a-day date remaining on the slate.

How many plays were run? "We had probably, let me count, with everybody including kicking game probably around 150, 160. It was a very different scrimmage, we set it up very differently tonight, more game situational. A lot of game situations, a lot of different guys different guys playing. We had a lot of rotations with guys, certain guys only got a couple of reps and other guys got tons of reps."

Was it cleaner this time? "No, a lot of big plays which I don't know if that's good or bad. So we've got to watch that on film. You want to make sure that big play everybody is executing and somebody made a big play, not someone made a terrible mistake. That is the stuff we have to watch on the film."

You talked last scrimmage about dropped passes, how was that tonight? "It was good. I mean, a lot of those guys still are not practicing. So, like De'Runnya Wilson had a huge night, he made a lot of big plays. He stood out to me. Chris Jones stood out to me tonight. (Ashton) Shumpert had a bunch of nice runs so he stood out. To me, I evaluate so much I'm not really looking to see, a lot of times I look down the field to see what's going on and I'm looking at something else completely to see what is happening on that play and that we're executing the way we wanted to."

What are you evaluating? "Everything. I mean everything for us. One, you want to evaluate what we do well, what as a team our guys execute well. And that's a huge aspect of things. Schematically you look, there are a lot of good plays, there are so many great plays on offense; there's great blitzes and all kinds of stuff on defense. The key is what do we execute well? What do we do well? And what players do them well so we're making sure we're putting everybody in the right situation. That is really this next week for us, when school starts on Monday we're really diving into what we do well and what we're going to kind of major in this season."

Has Wilson stood out all preseason? "He's coming along. He's learning the game a little bit. He's got a long way to go to learn. I imagine you're going to watch the film, I don't know that he'll grade real high. But I know he made a bunch of big plays. So being consistent is going to be just as important. All three of those guys that I named, they stood out today making great plays. Now, I imagine we might have a bunch of MA's in there, too. Which it doesn't equal out. We've got to get them ready to play in a game before they would put them on the field."

Talk about last night's team bowling and getting away? "Yeah, it was something. We had the two practices scheduled, I didn't even tell the coaches. I just really liked how we practiced in the morning, I knew we had a big scrimmage tonight. I liked the attitude our team had after morning practice (and) I wanted to keep a positive attitude coming into today's scrimmage."

"So we decided to do something fun and keep that energy, keep that juice that they had, that team-building they had for today's scrimmage. We'll have a short non-padded practice probably Sunday, and make up what we missed."

Since you were at the stadium how much in the kicking game did you get done? "A lot, we got every phase done in the kicking game tonight. Devon Bell I thought did really well, he was pretty consistent which we expect him to be. He's a hard worker, focused at doing things the right way. How he handles his business is what you want out of your kickers."

How would you grade Dillon Day's form? "Bowling? Yes, someone showed it to me on the internet. That's kind of cool. I tell you want, if you're going to do that right there that it makes it a pretty good deal if you get a strike! If he'd left the what is it, like seven-ten split or something like that it wouldn't have been as impressive."

You don't want him snapping the football like that this year though? "Yeah, nah. I don't know though, Pete Webber there better be careful!"


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