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MSU Notebook: Brown eligible to play against Auburn


Matthew Stevens



STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State freshman wide receiver Fred Brown will not be suspended for the Southeastern Conference opener against Auburn. 


After receiving his second personal foul penalty in MSU's 51-7 victory over Alcorn State Saturday, Brown was immediately ejected. However, SEC official Chuck Dunlap confirmed to The Dispatch Monday, unlike a ejection for fighting or the new targeting rule Brown's ejection will not carry over to the following game. 


After making the first catch of his collegiate career Saturday, Brown spiked the football in front of the side judge immediately drawing his first personal foul penalty. He received his second personal foul penalty away from the end of a play in the fourth quarter causing him to be ejected from his first game at Davis Wade Stadium. 


MSU coach Dan Mullen said Sunday in his media teleconference he didn't anticipate any further discipline for the freshman from Jim Hill High School in Jackson. 


"Unless we decided something needs to be addressed further," Mullen said. "We'll have a conversation about making better choices on the football field. You go and make a big play but then ruin it with a act like that at the end isn't smart." 


The home opener against Alcorn State was the first game Brown was on the 85-man active roster this season. 




Russell practices Tuesday but still not cleared for Saturday vs. Auburn 


MSU quarterback Tyler Russell was involved in Thursday's practice despite being medically cleared for Saturday's practice and having taken his concussion test. 


Russell was in a helmet and wearing the normal green, no-contact jersey for the quarterbacks and not a red inactive jersey given to players not to be touched at all. As a MSU practice policy, quarterbacks are not allowed to receive contact throughout practice anyway but Russell was seen working out Dak Prescott on footwork drills after the practice had concluded. 


"He's a fifth-year senior and so it's not a big deal with him because he knows what to do," MSU offensive coordinator Les Koenning said. "This would be different if he was a real young kid and didn't understand our redzone, third-down or short-yardage game plans." 


Mullen said Monday his fifth-year senior quarterback, who missed last weekend's 51-7 victory Saturday over Alcorn State University, hasn't taken his concussion test from the MSU medical staff but felt confident he would be able to "do some things" on the field. 


Russell was not made available to the media for the second straight week due to the school's policy of not allowing injured players to speak publicly before they are medically cleared to participate on the field again. 


"It's our understanding from everything we're hearing out of there that Tyler (Russell) will be good enough to go but we have to prepare for both quarterbacks because they used the other one even when Tyler was healthy," Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said. 


Despite having extra adrenaline, Koenning said he was pleased with MSU sophomore quarterback Prescott's performance in his first career start Saturday. 


"The first pass he threw was impressive to me because I thought it might go in the bleachers with as jacked up as he was," Koenning said. "He was a tremendous leader and knows the system. We love the way he leads this football team." 




Auburn continues to be careful with sack leader from 2012 season 


Auburn continues to be cautious with the status of its best passer as senior defensive end Dee Ford has sat the first two games this season due to a knee injury. 


Ford, a 246-pound speed rusher, led the team last year with six sacks in 11 games but is still recovering from a summer knee injury and team doctors ruled him out shortly before kickoff of last weekend's win over Arkansas State Saturday. 


Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the decision to hold Ford out was made in the interest of safety and the staff is waiting to make sure he will be in good condition before getting back in a uniform for the Tigers this season. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said last week he was hopeful Ford would be able to return for last weekend's game, which may be a sign that he is on track to returning to a game sooner rather than much later. 


Five different defensive lineman have recorded a sack for the Tigers through the first two games but none of them have more than one through 106 pass attempts by Washington State and Arkansas State. 


Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens



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