Mississippi State’s final week of spring practices began today, four days after the second scrimmage of the spring. There was a good bit of scrimmage work the last half of practice, especially in the red zone. Coach Dan Mullen said the offense, which lost the two scrimmages, came out the winner today, although there were plenty of nice defensive plays as well.
MSU has a dozen practices in the book and will be back on the field Thursday for the last big practice of spring. There will be some helmets-only work Friday, then the annual Maroon-White spring game is Saturday at 1 p.m.
Above is video of offensive tackle Damien Robinson, a fun guy to talk to and apparently a fun guy to mess with. You’ll see him push away tailback LaDarius Perkins (who was out again today) and later has offensive coordinator Les Koenning walk in front of him. Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 335-pound junior, saw some first-team reps at left tackle today.
I’ve got some highlights of today’s practice, then video below of Mullen and safeties coach Tony Hughes.
• Tailback Josh Robinson and defensive tackle Quay Evans were back in action today, although Evans went down hurt during red zone drills and did not return. Robinson looked just fine, taking a screen pass for a long touchdown and later breaking off a long TD run. He also had a short touchdown run during red zone work.
• I mentioned Perkins being out. Also out again were linebacker Zach Jackson, receiver Ricco Sanders and linebacker Deontae Skinner. Also, I never saw linebacker Matt Wells out there.
• Defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls had an active day. He broke up a Tyler Russell pass at the line of scrimmage during scrimmage work, then during red zone he intercepted a Russell pass in the end zone after tackle P.J. Jones deflected it high in the air.
• The defense controlled the red zone scrimmaging early on and got some big third-down stops, including a sack by the defensive line and a pass break-up in the end zone by cornerback Cedric Jiles. Safety Deonte Evans had a pair of picks off walk-on QB Josh Hand. Also, Curtis Virges blocked a field goal.
• The shorter the field got during red zone, the more success the offense had, which kind of makes sense. Russell had TD passes to Robert Johnson and tight end Malcolm Johnson, the latter on a shovel pass. Tight end Brandon Hill showed good footwork and concentration in the end zone on a pass from Sam Cowart, and Russell hit tight end Gus Walley for a TD to close out practice. Got some active tight ends there.
More videos for you, as promised.