Mullen: Russell will play vs. Auburn if he is cleared

September 9, 2013 11:47:53 AM

Matthew Stevens - [email protected]


STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State University football coach Dan Mullen said Sunday his quarterback situation is pretty simple. 


If Tyler Russell is medically cleared to play, he'll start against Auburn University at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) in Auburn, Ala. 


"If Tyler is healthy and ready to go, he'll be playing quarterback," Mullen said in his weekly teleconference. "If he's not, then Dak (Prescott) will be playing quarterback." 


Prescott earned his first collegiate start at quarterback Saturday in a 51-7 victory against Alcorn State University. He was playing for Russell, who suffered a concussion in the season opener against No. 13 Oklahoma State University, and showcased his athletic ability on designed rollouts and scrambles in the first half. He was 12 for 19 for 174 yards and three touchdowns. 


Prescott spread the ball to seven receivers, and both of his touchdown passes were thrown only where MSU receivers could make the catch. 


"I thought he played really well," Mullen said. "I thought he managed the offense really well. He missed one or two reads. He missed two or three checks he could've made. Overall his performance was very good." 


Mullen said he doesn't expect Russell to be available in practice until later in the week. He said Prescott will continue to take first-team repetitions in practice. 




Perkins expected to play Saturday at Auburn 


Mullen said Sunday senior tailback LaDarius Perkins, who suffered a sprained ankle against OSU and didn't play against Alcorn State for precautionary reasons, is expected to play Saturday at Auburn. 


"We expect every one of our guys besides Justin Malone, Jay Hughes, and Gus Walley (all three have suffered season-ending injuries) to play Saturday," Mullen said. "We don't have the injury report from our medical staff, though. I get that later (Sunday) afternoon." 


Perkins was seen leaving the Seal Family Football Complex earlier last week with a protective boot on his left foot. It's unclear how much he participated in the workouts leading up to the game against ASU. 


In Perkins' absence, freshman Ashton Shumpert led MSU with 22 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns. 


Going by MSU's participation chart compiled by MSU statisticians, the Bulldogs dressed only five seniors against ASU. 




Former MSU assistant Diaz fired as defensive coordinator at Texas 


The University of Texas fired defensive coordinator and former MSU assistant Manny Diaz on Sunday less than 24 hours after one of the worst defensive performances in the history of the program. 


Longhorns coach Mack Brown announced former Texas defensive coordinator and Syracuse University coach Greg Robinson will take over for Diaz. 


"Our performance on defense last night was unacceptable, and we need to change that," Brown said. 


Brigham Young University ran for 550 yards, the most allowed by Texas, in a 40-21 victory on Saturday night. 


Texas (1-1) will play host to No. 25 University of Mississippi (2-0) on Saturday. 


Brown hired Diaz after Texas finished 5-7 in 2010 and defensive coordinator Will Muschamp left to be the head coach at the University of Florida. Diaz had been defensive coordinator for just one season at MSU, but Brown called Diaz a rising star in coaching who brought energy and new ideas to his program.