August 8, 2013 12:41:16 PM
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen wasn't happy Thursday.
In the first preseason scrimmage inside Davis Wade Stadium, the Bulldogs fifth-year coach wasn't pleased with all the dropped passes, missed assignments and mental mistakes through the two-hour session Thursday morning.
Mullen was specifically unhappy with the receivers play after that position group had been progressing throughout fall camp thanks to the summer work led by fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler Russell. Russell had sessions with the newer receivers this summer without coaching supervision per NCAA rules to get his passing targets ready for the speed of fall practice and more importantly, to avoid common first day mistakes to elevate the understanding of the offense earlier into camp.
"It's the job of the older guys here to set that bar for the younger guys and if they mess up once, to make sure that doesn't happen again," Mullen said. "There's a lot of learning to make sure those (receivers) are ready to play. We've thrown a lot at them."
In a closed scrimmage to the public/media, Mullen said MSU showed its rust on offensive in the pass game and gave the coaching staff stuff to harp on during film sessions this afternoon with the specific position groups.
"We had a bunch of things that normally happen in a first scrimmage which are false starts, dropped passes and a bunch of silly penalties," Mullen said. "We have a lot of time to get that kind of stuff fixed but even as a young team, I was hoping to see us perform at a little higher level."
Mullen wasn't without positive points on the team scrimmage as defensive coordinator Geoff Collins' crew continued to improve one of least productive pass rushes in the Southeastern Conference in 2012 with his mayhem mentality up front.
"We had some really good pass rush today so that's a positive and the offensive line came off the ball today and so we ran the ball very well," Mullen said. "We'll have another big (scrimmage) next week and after that you're getting into pretty much game mode."
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.
1. W to host provocative exhibition of contemporary art ENTERTAINMENT
3. MSU to hold Freedom Summer Conference COMMUNITY