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Mississippi State spring football scrimmage No. 1 report: Big second half for MSU offense as Tyler Russell shines with 6 TDs



Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell (17 in red) connected with junior receiver Jameon Lewis for three touchdowns in a spring scrimmage Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - After a slow start, the Mississippi State University offensive units quickly picked up the pace and managed to find points (and I mean actual points, not the contrived point system the Bulldogs coaching staff used) in the second half.  


MSU senior-to-be quarterback Tyler Russell shined in those final 60 plays as the projected starter signal caller finished the day 28 of 40 for 307 yards and six touchdown passes.  


"There were momentum shifts throughout the scrimmage," Russell said. "We started with terrible field position early but we picked it up in the second half and we got to have that energy in the first and second halves."  


Russell, who I thought was in the shotgun today more than under center in practice, seemed to find a comfort zone with veteran wide receivers Jameon Lewis and Robert Johnson throughout the scrimmage. The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will have a more in-depth feature in Sunday's copy about their breakthrough day in the pass game and how that may be key to the 2013 season as inexperience will be rampant at that position.  


"Jameon is a guy that just makes plays, period," Russell said. "My job is just to get him the football somehow because then something is going to happen when he gets it. He's one of those special types of athletes." 


MSU struggled to find consistency in the run game all day long except from some random big runs by sophomore tailback Josh Robinson against both the first and second-team defenses. MSU coach Dan Mullen said after the scrimmage he was disappointed with the start by the offense and the subsequently the offensive line play.  


"That's the ones that can't start slow," Mullen said. "Even if you're not scoring from some of those positions, you have to get a couple of first downs to flip the field and move the chains." 


On the defensive side, MSU senior defensive end Denico Autry had his name called a lot early in the scrimmage as the East Mississippi Community College had five tackles and a pass broken up.  


"We kind of went to sleep a little bit in the second half and so we have to stay focused and finish," Autry said.  


The rising star on the defensive side of the ball was redshirt freshman linebacker Beniquez Brown was all over the field on the second-team defense with nine tackles, two passes broken up and two tackles for a loss. 


"I guess it's hard for me to see a lot of the specifics of guys, because I watch that on the film," Mullen said. "So I'm looking at kind of the big picture. But I think it is. From my vantage point I saw a lot. I saw (defensive end) A.J. Jefferson make a couple of what would appear to be good plays." 


The scrimmage managed to be nearly free of any injury concerns if not for a scary moment when senior-to-be tailback LaDarius Perkins  


Mississippi State will return to the practice field Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. and will work on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week before a 3 p.m. Friday scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium. Spring practices, all open to fans, will continue until the Maroon-White Spring Game on April 20 at 1 p.m. 
















First half 


ˇ From 25: 3 plays, minus-2 yards 


ˇ From 40:  3 plays, 4 yards 


ˇ From 25: 5 plays, 39 yards (Note: Fourth-down stop) 


ˇ From 2: 8 plays, 67 yards === made 48-yard FG 


ˇ From opp. 40: 1 play, 40 yards === Russell to Lewis 40 TD pass 


ˇ From 25: 7 plays, 22 yards 


ˇ From 40: 5 plays, 25 yards 


1H total: 32 plays, 195 yards 




Second half 




ˇ From opp. 25: 3 plays, 25 yards === Russell to Lewis 20 TD pass 


ˇ From 25: 10 plays, 75 yards === Russell to F. Brown 40 TD pass 


ˇ From opp. 40: 1 play, 40 yards === Russell to Perkins 40 TD pass 


ˇ From 40: 8 plays, 60 yards === Russell to Hill 29 TD pass 


ˇ From 25: 11 plays, 50 yards === missed FG 


ˇ From 35: 7 plays, 65 yards === Russell to Lewis 5 TD pass (Note: TD on 4th and goal) 


2H total: 40 plays, 315 yards 


TOTALS: 72 plays, 510 yards 








First half 


ˇ From 25: 3 plays, 0 yards 


ˇ From opp. 40: 3 plays, 0 yards 


ˇ From 25: 3 plays, minus-1 yard 


ˇ From opp. 25: 6 plays, 19 yards === missed FG 


ˇ From 25: 3 plays, 1 yard 


ˇ From 25: 7 plays, 23 yards 


ˇ From 40: 6 plays, 41 yards === missed FG 


1H total: 31 plays, 83 yards 




Second half 


ˇ From 40: 3 plays, 0 yards 


ˇ From 2: 3 plays, minus-1 yard 


ˇ From opp. 40: 9 plays, 25 yards === made 32-yard FG 


ˇ From 25: 8 plays, 26 yards 


ˇ From 40: 3 plays, minus-4 yards 


ˇ From 35: 8 plays, 29 yards 


2H total: 34 plays, 75 yards 


TOTALS: 65 plays, 158 yards 






Tyler Russell: 28 for 40, 307 yards, 6 TDs  




Sam Cowart: 10 for 25 for 69 yards  






LaDarius Perkins: 12 for 27 yards  


Derrick Milton: 10 for 29 yards  


Josh Robinson: 14 for 90 yards 




Jameon Lewis: 9 for 143 yards, 3 TDs 


Robert Johnson 8 for 78 yards  


Fred Brown 4 for 63 yards TD 


Joe Morrow 5 for 31 yards 


Gus Walley 4 for 31 yards  


Rufus Warren 2 for 35 yards  


Michael Carr 3 for 41 yards, TD  


Jeremey Chappelle 1 for 8 yards  








S Jay Hughes - 3 tackles, 


DE Denico Autry - 5 tackles, 1 PBU 


DT P.J. Jones - 1 tackle, 1 QBH 


LB Beniquez Brown - 9 tackles, 2 PBU, 2 TFL 


DE A.J. Jefferson - 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 1 QBH 


DT Quay Evans - 2 tackles 


LB Zachary Jackson - 2 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 QBH 


CB Cedric Jiles - 3 tackles 


LB Chris Hughes - 6 tackles, PAT block 


DT Kaleb Eulls - 2 tackles 


LB Richie Brown - 3 tackles, 1 QBH 


CB Jamerson Love - 3 tackles, 1 PBU 


DE Preston Smith -  1 tackle, 1 TFL, 1 QBH 


LB Deontae Skinner - 4 tackles 


CB Justin Cox - 4 tackles, 1 PBU 


LB Ferlando Bohanna - 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL 


S Kendrick Market - 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL 


S Deonte Evans - 3 tackles, 2 PBU, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR 


DT Nick James - 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 QBH, 1 TFL 


LB Benardrick McKinney - 4 tackles, 1 PBU 


S Quadry Antoine - 4 tackles 


DE Torrey Dale - 1 tackle 


DT Curtis Virges - 2 tackles, 1 PBU, 1 QBH 


S Nickoe Whitley - 4 tackles, 1 PBU 


S Dee Arrington - 5 tackles 


LB Matthew Wells - 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU 


CB Kivon Coman - 3 tackles 


DE Jordan Washington - 1 tackle 




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. 



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