April 13, 2013 2:59:27 AM
STARKVILLE - Normally after a spring practice or a scrimmage, Mississippi State University football coach Dan Mullen will do the classic routine describing his excitement and disappointment about big play.
Normally the reaction will go something like this: a big play on either side of the ball means one half of the 22 players on the field do something incredibly amazing and then of course, the other side of the ball not mentioned did something well...not amazing.
Ask Mullen about the six turnovers during Friday afternoon's spring scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium and the Bulldogs fifth-year coach had one common reaction - disappointment.
"A lot of sloppy offensive plays and poor ball security," Mullen said Friday. "In terms of the defense, I didn't see any special plays except for a nice pick by Jamerson Love at the end. The rest of it was poor ball security."
The first and second team offenses at MSU allowed six total turnovers throughout the two-hour scrimmage Friday including four interceptions by projected starting quarterback Tyler Russell and two fumbles.
After a six-touchdown performance with no turnovers last weekend, Mullen came away frustrated with the play of Russell after a day where his turnovers were noticeable, including two interceptions by redshirt freshman linebacker Beniquez Brown.
"I'm disappointed in certain things," Mullen said. "I think he missed some throws today (and) made some good plays today. Part of it is with him I guess we're trying to get into the complete game management, which is seeing things out on the field."
Part of the explanation by Mullen for the mistakes by Russell is he said he is trying to put his future fifth-year senior quarterback in simulated situations to force him to mentally prepare for being responsible to being an offensive play caller at the line of the scrimmage.
"I just threw some random things out that we haven't really gone through before, to see how he can handle and in-game adjustment," Mullen said. "I thought he handled that really well. I was disappointed that he missed some throws."
Beniquez Brown, a former four-star linebacker prospect out of Florence, Ala., found himself back in his high school game when he rushed for 2,375 yards and scored 37 touchdowns on the ground his senior season. Brown took an interception over the middle where he properly read Russell's eyes and then took the football back 28 yards for a touchdown.
"It was my first day running with the first-string defense and all I was trying to do was get the ball out and make plays - that's the two things coach tells us to do when we're out there," Brown said. "Now that I'm defense, when I get the ball in my hands I certainly still try to score."
Brown, who had nine tackles in last week's scrimmage, had (unofficially) five Friday. He and fellow redshirt freshman Richie Brown got significant work with the first team due to Deontae Skinner being held out with an injury. The projected starting senior linebacker was wearing a boot on his left foot as he watched action from the sideline.
"What I wanted to do today was make sure Richie and Beniquez didn't play together," MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins said. "They both played with some older guys. That helped them out a lot because they didn't have to think and they could fly around like the great athletes they are."
Even without the services of senior LaDarius Perkins and sophomore Josh Robinson due to various injuries, MSU seemed more committed to the run game with reserves Derrick Milton, Kasey Atkins and converted wide receiver Brandon Holloway getting a majority of the work.
"Holloway comes in and makes a few explosive plays and gets everybody kind of nervous over there," Mullen said. "At the running back position, when you look at how slim that is right now, when I look at spring I want to see are the guys we're counting on making the plays we need to make? That is a critical aspect of it."
Russell finished 21 of 39 for 258 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Holloway led the team with 83 yards on 17 carries and Akins with 78 yards on 12 carries.
Here's the UNOFFICAL STATISTICS from the intra-squad scrimmage:
Tyler Russell - 21 for 39, 258 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT
Sam Cowart - 9 for 17, 69 yards, TD
Josh Hand - 8 for 15, 142 yards, TD
Derrick Milton - 19 carries, 73 yards
Brandon Holloway - 17 carries, 83 yards
Kasey Atkins - 12 carries, 78 yards
Malcolm Johnson - 8 catches, 131 yards
Robert Johnson - 7 catches, 109 yards, TD
Joe Morrow - 4 catches, 54 yards, 2 TD
Jameon Lewis - 5 catches, 34 yards
Michael Carr - 3 catches, 83 yards
Brandon Hill - 3 catches, 17 yards
Jeremey Chapelle - 1 catch, 39 yards, TD
Christian Holmes - 2 catches, 4 yards, 2 TD
S Kendrick Market: 7 tackles
DE Quadry Antoine: 6 tackles
LB Richie Brown: 5 tackles
LB Beniquez Brown: 5 tackles, 2 INTs, TD
LB Matt Wells: 5 tackles, sack
CB Cedric Jiles: 5 tackles
CB Justin Cox: 5 tackles, fumble recovery, interception
LB Benardrick McKinney: 4 tackles
DE Deonte Evans: 4 tackles
DE Denico Autry: 3 tackles, sack
DT Kaleb Eulls: 3 tackles
DE Preston Smith: 3 tackles
DT Nick James: 3 tackles, sack
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.
5. He Out-Ponzied Ponzi BOOK REVIEWS