Bryant Shines with Three-Pick Day; Peters Shores Up Receiver Corps

Mississippi State held the first of two spring scrimmages Saturday, and there was no doubting which Dog dominated the day. Safety Brandon Bryant picked off three passes, returning one for a 97-yard touchdown, and set a generally defensive tone for the day.

What is your evaluation of what you saw in today’s scrimmage? “We’ll watch it on tape. Our guys love to play and that’s what’s important out here on the field. You see guys making some plays, doing some things. So many different getting reps, trying to get different things done. A lot of the things coaching-wise you’re just trying to get certain things called against certain looks, that fall into certain guys’ hands to see what they can do.”

“So we’ll watch it all and see. I don’t know, until I go evaluate it on film I never really know how it’s going to look.”


How did you structure today? “Just like our regular scrimmage, like we always would. We wanted to get about sixty reps for the ones, sixty reps for the twos. And then it’d be a little less, thirty to forty for the three-group, kind of rolling those guys through. And I think we did that with the play count there, it was kind of important. So one of the things we want to do, we’ll go back and get the right guys the number of reps.”

“And our first scrimmage, our first time to see live action out here. So what I want to see is a big jump, big improvement between this week and next week.”


Brandon Bryant had a big day for the defense? “Yeah. He’s played though. Sometimes you expect guys who have played, have more experience it comes a little quicker, easier, naturally to them. Just because they’ve been around and they’ve played a whole bunch.”

“I think we saw that with some of the guys. I think he had a couple of interceptions. But a couple of them just got thrown right to him, I don’t know if they were great plays or bad plays by other people.”


What is the idea behind Jamal Peters getting reps at wide receiver? “One, we don’t have any wide receivers because everybody’s hurt! And we felt good at safety.”

“He’s such a talented football player, we’re making sure we evaluate the right way here within our program and we put him in position he can be most successful in his future. We’ve seen him a bunch at DB, we’re good there. I want to see because he was a talented offensive player in high school, too. Just seeing if he might even be better on that side of the ball.”


What did you see out of the quarterbacks today? “Some good and bad. And that’s part of it. The key for them is the consistency, of understanding out here on the field is when you’re the guy you’ve got to do it over and over and over and over. And you can’t make special plays and then terrible plays. You’ve got to make consistent plays, and then special plays.”


Was the defense flying around the way you wanted to see? “I think so. We’ll watch on film. They had juice, energy. I think there’s going to be some new leaders out here on the field too, today. So I tried to pay attention to who are the guys trying to be leaders and raise the level of other people’s plays.”

“But I think we saw some good things on defense. And there were some new guys getting the reps. The biggest thing in spring for everybody is not is Richie Brown going to be ready to go play, or is A.J. Jefferson going to be ready to go play. It’s making sure that Leo Lewis and Tim Washington and Trevor Jung are ready to go play. That’s the important aspect of all this, that they’re getting ready to be at the level we need them to be.”


How is the defense responding to the new staff? “Pretty good. I mean, they’re great coaches, you see they’ve got a lot of high energy out here coaching the guys. They’re learning some new things, we’ve tweaked the defense around, doing things schematically. So there will be a couple of mental errors here and there. But I think overall they’re buying in pretty good.”


Have you received the information from (signee and high school student) Jeffrey Simmons’ incident? “I’ll let you know. We’re going to evaluate and we’ll let y’all know. Don’t expect anything in the near future.”


Have you talked to the team about it at all? “Uh-huh.”


What did you say to them? “That we’re evaluating it.”


Who is involved in that decision-making process? “A lot of people.”


Is it just athletics? “No, a lot of people. We have a lot of people.”


You’ve been outspoken against violence and especially against women… “Absolutely.” How do you welcome somebody like that? “I’ll evaluate it all. I will evaluate the whole situation. Which there is a lot of different situations out there. I’ll evaluate all of them.”


Donald Gray said last week he might miss all the spring? “Yeah, I don’t think he’ll be back in this spring. He hyper-extended his knee, I think they said where the bones hit there’s a slight fracture. So it’s going to be about a four-week deal.”

“For a guy like him that’s played a bunch, we don’t need to rush him back. It might be close that he could play in the spring game but I don’t think that’s that important for his development.”

RUSHING: Aeris Williams 18 for 140; Ashton Shumpert 8 for 51; Dontavian Lee 8 for 49, 6-yard TD, 1-yard TD; Nick Gibson 10 for 43, 2-yard TD; Brandon Holloway 7 for 27, 9-yard TD; Alec Murphy 9 for 26; Nick Tiano 7 for 23; Nick Fitzgerald 5 for 15, 22-yard TD; Elijah Staley 5 for -24.


PASSING: Elijah Staley 14 of 23, 167 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; Nick Fitzgerald 8 of 20, 118 yards, I INT; Nick Tiano 5 of 10 for 36; Damian Williams 2-of-11 for 27, 3 INT.


LEADING RECEIVERS: Keith Mixon 4 for 93, 1 TD; Malik Dear 3 for 63; Deddrick Thomas 4 for 46; Justin Johnson 4 for 26; Farrod Green 2 for 22.

SCORING: (2s vs 2s) 5 play drive, 75 yards; Elijah Staley to Keith Mixon, 22-yard touchdown

(2s vs 2s) 6 plays, 21 yards; 35-yard field goal Westin Graves

(1s vs 1s) 5 plays, 26 yards; 48-yard field goal Westin Graves

(2s vs 2s) 10 plays, 75 yards, 6-yard rush Dontavian Lee

(1s vs 1s) 6 plays, 60 yards, 9-yard rush Brandon Holloway

(1s vs 1s) defense, 97-yard interception return Brandon Bryant

(2/3s vs 2/3s) 5 plays, 40 yards, 2-yard rush Nick Gibson

(2s vs 2s) 6 plays, 60 yards, 1-yard rush Lee

(1s vs 1s) 9 plays, 75 yards, Nick Fitzgerald 22-yard rush

INTERCEPTIONS: Brandon Bryant 3, Tim Washington 1, Trevor Jung 1, Leo Lewis 1

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