September 2, 2013 3:11:46 PM
STARKVILLE - The injury report was long, lengthy and unnerving for Mississippi State University coach Dan Mullen.
That list read from the Bulldogs fifth-year coach included the starting quarterback. Mullen confirmed Monday in his media conference MSU senior quarterback Tyler Russell will be listed as "doubtful" after suffering a concussion in Saturday's 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State University.
The Bulldogs were down 14-3 in the third quarter and Russell was laying face down, motionless on the Reliant Stadium turf. Suddenly MSU's contingent of the announced 35,874 in attendance Saturday were silent while watching their season possibly collapse just 42 minutes into their 2013 season.
"Yeah, there was letdown (because) you don't want to see your quarterback on the ground," MSU junior wide receiver Jameon Lewis said Saturday. "From what I saw, I immediately yelled out 'dang, he ain't moving'."
On a first-down scramble by Russell, the Bulldogs quarterback was dragged down by Cowboys defensive tackle James Castleman while sophomore linebacker Ryan Simmons finished the play. The replays shown on the stadium jumbo-tron and on the television broadcast appear to show inadvertent contact between Simmons' leg and Russell head. Minutes later, Russell was being led off the field by the MSU training staff, taken into the tunnel by the MSU medical staff after being quickly evaluated on the training table.
"I'd say Tyler is going to be doubtful for this week," Mullen said. "We'll see at the end of the week, just the concussion from that game. We don't expect him to practice this week, if he might be cleared for the game we'll make that decision if he is cleared for the game whether he plays."
efore the injury Russell was 10 of 16 for 133 yards and a interception on a tipped ball in the first quarter. He had completed a pass to five different MSU receivers and seemed to gain confidence as the game went along when given time to oversee the defense. Russell's backup option Dak Prescott failed to move the offense and finished just 7 of 17 for 89 yards and a interception.
Russell has never missed officially missed game in his MSU career due a injury but didn't play in the 2011 Music City Bowl after wearing a boot in his foot for the two weeks of preparation.
"They have a baseline, they do concussion testing and everyone on the team gets kind-of tested on it, baseline before the season starts," Mullen said. "I'll be honest, I haven't done it in a while, I probably should do it just to see. They said it's really hard to pass if you're healthy, you know what I mean? So it's a tough deal."
Here's the rest of the MSU injury report coming out of the loss to No. 13 Oklahoma State:
- Junior safety Jay Hughes (achilles) - Hughes will have surgery to repair a torn right achilles.
"He's going to have surgery and he's going to be out for the whole year," Mullen said. "Which is a huge loss for us, not just as a great player but as one of the top leaders on our team and really to me a face of the program-type guy. Maybe not in popularity cultures but there's somebody you want to put up that really is what our program is all about, is Jay Hughes. So that's a huge loss for us."
The junior starting strong safety was helped off the field in the first quarter with what MSU officials later confirmed was a achilles injury. The post-game quotes revealed the possibility Hughes may be out for a significant portion of the 2013 season, if he is able to return at all. Hughes was comforted by MSU coach Dan Mullen, his father and MSU secondary coach Tony Hughes and several teammates while he was on the training table.
"I was hugging Jay while we were both in tears because he's such a great kid," MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins said. "Your heart goes out to a kid like that because he puts so much into the program and plays for two series. We've asked Jay to be the quarterback of the defense at times."
- Junior cornerback Jamerson Love (ankle) - Love, who is taking one of the starter spots left by 2012 NFL second round draft picks Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay, is "questionable" for Saturday vs. Alcorn State (2:35 p.m., CSS) suffered a severe ankle injury. The junior from Aberdeen High School suffered the injury in the second quarter and was ruled out of the game at halftime. Love's replacement was former West Point star and East Mississippi Community College transfer Justin Cox.
- Junior right guard Justin Malone (left leg) - Malone is doubtful for Saturday after being helped off the field in the fourth quarter after being unable to move his left leg. The Bulldogs immediately turned to junior Ben Beckwith as Tobias Smith did not dress Saturday despite being listed on the team's active travel roster. Malone was part of a MSU interior offensive line that got manhandled by Oklahoma State. The Cowboys managed to make 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage Saturday in the 21-3 win.
- Junior middle linebacker Ferlando Bohanna (concussion) - The backup middle linebacker was forced to miss the contest Saturday after he wasn't cleared by the MSU medical staff following concussion symptoms. He is listed as "doubtful" to play this week vs. Alcorn State. His loss creates a massive depth problem in the middle of the field and forces sophomore Bernardrick McKinney to absorb more snaps on defense than defensive coordinator Geoff Collins would obviously prefer.
"The thing with both of those guys (Russell and Bohanna), is being veteran players if they are cleared for the game you make a determination at that point how much they play, or if they play even without having practiced during the week," Mullen said.
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. A Stone's Throw: The veil COLUMNS