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Bye week practice report - Mullen still shaking head over injuries through first six games




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is still amazed at the number of injuries his team has suffered over the first six games of the 2013 season.  


"It has been a lot of injuries and I'm not sure we've ever had this many injuries in a season (but) I'm sure we have but it's been injuries in the secondary, injuries in the line, running back, quarterback, everywhere," Mullen said after practice Wednesday night. "That's what I do and it's our job to prepare all of our guys to be ready to play. We recruit guys to come play. A lot of guys have gotten opportunities and taken advantage of them and done a great job." 




For the record: here's the laundry list of injuries MSU has suffered over the 2013 season -  


QB Tyler Russell (concussion) - missed the next three games after season opener 


SS Jay Hughes (achilles) - will miss the rest of 2013 season 


TB LaDarius Perkins (ankle) - missed the following game after season opener 


OG Justin Malone (leg) - will miss the the rest of the 2013 season 


DT P.J. Jones (foot/ankle) - missed two games after season opener 


CB Jamerson Love (foot/ankle) - missed last week against Bowling Green 


OT Blaine Clausell (foot) - missed last week against Bowling Green 


LB Ferlando Bohanna (concussion) - will miss rest of 2013 season and likely end of college career 




"We've held a lot of guys out the two days we've practiced this week," Mullen said. "Even the guys that are starters are mostly doing individual and situational stuff so we can get some young guys some reps." 




Here's some other noteworthy items that Mullen discussed Wednesday night:  




- Mullen still has confidence in sophomore kicker Devon Bell. The fifth-year head coach, who takes responsibility for the special teams unit at MSU, said he's worked with Bell on the technical issue with his plant (left) leg. He hopes that mechanical change will translate in games as he's impressed the coaching staff with his work in practice. 


"He's a pretty mentally tough kid," Mullen said. "He's done a really good job this week in practice. He's been really worried about his technique and fundamentals. We changed one little thing this week on his plant foot and when you talk to him, he's very professional about doing his job. It's not like the world is coming to a end. We changed one thing on his plant foot and it seems to have helped tremendously." 




- Mullen was asked if his decision had anything to do with a confidence level in Bell, who is currently 5 of 10 on field goals this season, and it was essentially a one-word answer.  


"None," Mullen said. "He would've made that. I don't know. If we would've lost the game, i would've been called a dummy. I guess I looked smart. Whether I looked smart or not, it was a gut feeling I had in the situation. I felt like hey, I want to go for it and I think we can get it. Almost did." 




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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