STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen walked away from Saturday morning's scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium pleased with how his team performed it second scrimmage of the spring.
The Bulldogs structured the scrimmage with focus on full-field drives for the first half followed by work on third-downs, redzone situations and two-minute drill. The 118-play scrimmage finished with the offense compiling 251 rushing yards on 69 attempts and 330 yards passing on 49 throws.
"We competed well. I think we got better in the last week, and that's what you're looking for in the spring," Mullen said. "The only thing I wasn't pleased with was the turnovers. The offense lost today basically because we fumbled two punts."
The defense sealed the victory for the day, along with the spoils of not having to participate in post-practice running, by ending a pair of two-minute drives by the offense. Maurice Langston hauled in an interception in the endzone to end the first-team offense's bid to drive 65-yards in a minute and a half.
The Bulldog offense was able to sustain a few drives early in the scrimmage with a mixture of runs and intermediate passes, but it wasn't able to find the endzone until Chris Relf hit Leon Berry for a 68-yard score. The first-offense put together a long drive that ended with a failed fourth-down attempt from inside the five yardline.
After a few series, Coach Mullen told both the offense and the defense that the red-jersey-wearing quarterbacks were live for full-contact. On the next possession, Tyler Russell fumbled and Chris White rumbled 27 yards for a score.
During the redzone period, the offense scored on its first two possessions but the second-defense defense came up with a huge stop on 4th-and-goal at the 2 yardline to close out the period. Also during the short-field work, Russell connected with tight end Brandon Henderson on short pass and Brandon Heavens on a 17-yard catch-and-run for a pair of touchdowns.
"We got a lot of work done today, now we'll go back and look at the film to see the techniques and fundamentals and see how well we carried those over from this week," Mullen said.
The Bulldogs will return to work next week with Tuesday and Thursday practices. Friday's workout will be a walk-through in preparation for the April 17 Maroon-White Spring Game.
Berry 68 pass from Relf
White 28 fumble return
Elliott 3 run
Heavens 13 run
Henderson 2 pass from Russell
Ballard 5 run
Russell 2 run
Heavens 17 pass from Russell
RUSHING: Elliott 13-52 TD; Relf 12-49; Perkins 15-22; Ballard 10-20 TD; Hanrahan 3-23; Hemphill 2-9; Berry 1-13; Heavens 1-13 TD; Marcus 10-46; Russell 2-4 TD.
PASSING: Relf 12-23-210 yds-1TD -1 INT; Russell 12-26-120-1TD
RECEIVING: Smith 3-22; Henderson 6-91; Perkins 1-7; Heavens 2-8; Elliott 1-(-3); Berry 3-121 TD; Green 3-23; Bumphis 2-20; Sanders 3-41.
SACKS: Boyd, McKenzie (2), Gatling (2), White