Countdown to Kickoff: 26 Days

We’re counting down to MSU’s season opener against Oklahoma State on Aug. 31, giving you a significant number to ponder as August trudges on. Today’s number is…

–––––

26.

Senior quarterback Tyler Russell has set a lot of passing records at MSU, but one he doesn’t have yet is for most completions in a game. That record is 32, set by Tommy Pharr versus Alabama in 1969. Russell’s career-high for completions is 26, in last season’s 37-17 loss at LSU. He did it on 38 attempts, throwing for a career-high 295 yards, 1 touchdown and one interception.

As good as Russell has been, there are some benchmark numbers he hasn’t reached yet. Like 30 completions in a game, or 300 yards in a game. One would think that he will reach those at some point this fall. One also figures he might could reach the 30-touchdown mark for the season, and the 3,000-yard mark as well. (He had 24 TDs and 2,897 yards last year.)

Given Russell’s career trajectory, those numbers appear well within reach for someone with his level of talent and experience. Of course, with its stable of running backs, who knows if MSU will pass the ball more or less than last year. Some players have told us they expect to pass it more than last year, when State’s run/pass split was exactly 50/50. Of course, more important than any of the aforementioned numbers is how efficient Russell is when he’s throwing. He ranked 55th nationally – 10th in the SEC – in pass efficiency last season.

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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