October 1, 2012 5:29:08 PM
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University head coach Dan Mullen may have to gameplan against a quarterback that doesn't have one second of action in his college career.
Dan Mullen meet University of Kentucky freshman quarterback Patrick Towles. Wildcats head coach Joker Phillips has apparently decided to take the redshirt off the Parade All-America selection, "Mr. Football" for the state of Kentucky and Gatorade player of the year in the state after starting quarterback Maxwell Smith is out Saturday with a torn ligament in his ankle that will require surgery.
"We've watched some high school film on him," Mullen said. "He's a complete quarterback, throws the ball really well, was their state player of the year. Looks like a winner when you watch him on film in high school. He has as all the tools, can run, has size, good decision-making, strong arm You'd think if they would take a redshirt off a guy n October, that you're going with him. You're just making the decision, that's the guy we're going with if we're going to burn a redshirt year."
The reason Mullen is so confident about Towles getting a lot of action Saturday because of how he felt in his first season during the home loss to the University of Houston when he "had seen enough" and wanted to play Tyler Russell as a true freshman over then veterans Tyson Lee and Chris Relf.
"We almost did that with Tyler Russell a couple of years ago and if we had done it, it was over - he was the guy the rest of the way," Mullen said. "Actually a quick turnover I think prevented that from happening, and I calmed down on the sidelines, and I decided to redshirt him. You make that decision, especially with a week of practice, you're making the decision to get him ready and go with him."
In his Sunday teleconference Mullen discussed the idea of having to plan his defense around two styles of quarterback play with the other true freshman in 6-foot-2 Jalen Whitlow being a more athletic player.
"He looked really athletic," Mullen said of Whitlow, who went 12-for-23 for 114 yards and two interceptions against No. 6 South Carolina. "It will be interesting to know whether he is going to be the guy, it looks like he might be the third quarterback in three weeks. He looked pretty athletic and made some plays, against a South Carolina team that is in the top-six and they had a lead at halftime."
Be sure to look for a feature in Tuesday's Dispatch on how MSU is trying to prepare for quarterbacks with limited resources to scout them due to their own inexperience.
- After he began his media conference, Mullen gave the media the injury report for the next week at University of Kentucky
Freshman CB Cedric Jiles is doubtful (broken hand)
Senior DT Devin Jones is questionable (sprained shoulder)
Senior OG Tobias Smith is questionable (knee)
Sophomore TE Brandon Hill is probable after playing last week against South Alabama (ankle sprain)
Freshman DB Xavier Grindle is out for the rest of the season (torn ACL)
Sophomore TE Malcolm Johnson is now questionable (pectoral)
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. Columbus tree lighting to have new look, locale ENTERTAINMENT