SBW Notebook and Commentary

Despite the threat of scattered thunderstorms, the folks at Mississippi State were down right giddy about how things turned out on Saturday. The second day and perhaps biggest day of Super Bulldog Weekend produced a spring homecoming like no other in the Magnolia State of Mississippi.

Foul Weather Fans - 31,606 Bullies made the trek to Starkville despite the threat of some pretty nasty weather. The robust crowd was the largest spring game crowd to ever assemble anywhere in the state of Mississippi.

This record is a testament to a great group of fans who are ready to offer their support. The past two seasons only one side of the stadium was opened for a much smaller collection of Bulldog fans.

A New Broom Sweeps Clean - When the Bulldogs take the field in the 2009 season opener against Jackson State, not only will they have a new coach, a new look and a new attitude. They will also have a new mascot.

"Tonka" is hanging up his harness so to speak once Bulldog athletics close out the spring.

The new canine captain, "Champ", will begin his reign as THE Mississippi State Bulldog when the new football season rolls in.

New Toys - Much of the talk over the course of the spring has been centered on an apparent lack of depth at the wide receiver.

On Saturday a pair of redshirt freshman made their cases in an attempt to answer those concerns. Terrance Davis hauled in five catches for 69 yards while O'Neal Wilder caught four balls for 122 yards.

Wilder made his hay on vertical routes and along the sidelines, but Davis showed a knack for getting open in space and making people miss.

Throw in newcomer Leon Berry, who was the games' top target with 125 yards on eight catches, and Bulldog quarterbacks will have some nice options to consider in the pass patterns this fall.

Adding to the talent level of that group of reinforcements will be incoming freshman Chad Bumphis, Chris Smith, Mardrecas Hood and Brandon Heavens who are expected for fall camp.

An old friend - With just over seven minutes to go in the second quarter, the game was halted for a special presentation. Kenzkai Jones, the inventor of the famed Dog Pound Rock, led both teams and the crowd in a welcome back edition of the DPR. Even the old favorite "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Chuck Smooth once again blared from the Davis Wade Speakers.

Bridging the Gap - Prior to the beginning of the spring game, a new pre-game video was played soundtracked by AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock." The feature showcased some of the highlights from last season and demonstrated a lot more editorial features than the previous pre-game reels.

At the conclusion of the presentation, another video presentation showed highlights from the late nineties. Bryan Hazlewood's kick to beat Arkansas and Kevin Prentiss' punt return from the SEC Championship game were among the selections.

The film segued into the future, by showing an excerpt from Dan Mullen's press conference to announce his hiring.

Another coach, Another T-Shirt - The Sylvester Croom era was branded by the phrase "Maroon is All That Matters". The first spring game of the Dan Mullen era was complete with event shirts with the phrase "Spread the Fun".

A Left Field Lounger - Prior to a two o'clock meeting, Coach Dan Mullen, his wife Megan and their two month old son, Canon, all were baptized in Bulldog as they mingled in the Left Field Lounge during the baseball game against Kentucky.

Mullen did the official honors at Roy Tucker's "Big Rig" when he downed a piece of fried fish as the sacrament before climbing up top to get a view of Dudy Noble from one of the best perches in the place.

The Rainmaker - - Mullen was safely in the confines of the football offices when the Bulldogs' win over Kentucky was secure.

As the first rain of the day began to fall from the sky, Conner Powers stepped up and ended the day's affair with a no doubter to center.

The solo blast was the first walk off home run of Powers college career.

The ball came down about 40 feet from the watchful eye of MSU's All-Time hits leader Jeff Rea who was there taking in the festivities.


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