October 13, 2013 1:36:11 AM
STARKVILLE -- Will Redmond made two big plays in his eagerly anticipated college football debut.
The sophomore defensive back had a tackle in his first kickoff coverage and a key deflection credited to him on a fourth-down play to end Bowling Green's comeback hopes in Mississippi State's 21-20 victory Saturday night at Davis Wade Stadium.
"He was able to get out there and get out on the field to make some plays we've seen him make on the scout team over the last year," MSU coach Dan Mullen said.
Redmond made his debut after serving a five-game suspension that was the result of a NCAA investigation in June that revealed a former booster assisted him in purchasing an automobile at a discount and helped him receive other financial benefits. Redmond was reinstated after he paid back $2,660 in benefits and forfeited a year of eligibility.
Mullen said he was proud of the way Redmond handled the year and half delay to his career.
"I give him a lot of credit because he's had to deal with a awful lot of stuff," Mullen said. "He's been under pressure and handled it with class. I'm proud of how he's dealt with everything and maybe he'll have some smooth sailing to the rest of his career."
Bell continues to struggle with field goal kicks
Devon Bell missed another field goal Saturday to create more of a controversy among himself and the MSU special teams unit.
Bell hit the right upright on a 44-yard attempt in the fourth quarter that would've given MSU a four-point lead with 13 minutes left to go.
Bell is 5 of 10 on field goals. More than 75 percent of his kickoffs go out of the end zone. For his career, Bell is 19 of 31 on field goals and 7 of 14 from 30-39 yards.
In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, MSU elected not to have Bell try what would've been a 24-yard field goal. Instead, Mullen had Prescott run the ball up the middle on fourth-and-3. Prescott was stopped short at the 5-yard-line, which gave the Falcons one more opportunity to win the game.
Bell also had his first punt Saturday. He entered the game in the first half for a 41-yard punt to pin the Falcons inside the 5.
Senior receives his first start of college career at LT; EMCC star Cox draws start for injured Love
Justin Senior received his first start of his collegiate career Saturday after Blaine Clausell was ruled out after suffering a foot injury last week in a 59-26 loss to No. 10 LSU.
Senior, the Montreal, Quebec native, has played four years of organized football. He transferred to Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., two years ago.
Clausell, who had started five-straight games at left tackle and played in 22 career games, was wearing a protective boot on his foot all week, but he wasn't named on the injury report by Mullen.
Former East Mississippi Community College standout Justin Cox drew his first start at MSU since transferring this summer. Cox was in place of the injured Jamerson Love, who left last week's game in the fourth quarter on crutches.
After the game, Mullen confirmed backup linebacker Ferlando Bohanna suffered another concussion and likely be out for the rest of the season. Mullen said in the postgame media conference he had reservations about Bohanna's ability to return to the field after the injury.
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.