Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell (17) throws a pass to tight end Marcus Green. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen likes the situation he has at quarterback.
With a proven leader in junior Tyler Russell starting and a decent role player in redshirt freshman Dak Prescott, Mullen appears to have a pair of signal callers he can depend upon.
On Wednesday, it was announced by the Allstate Sugar Bowl that Russell was placed on the Manning Award Watch List.
"He's not only the leader of the offense, but also in the meeting room and the leader of his position group with the work ethic he's puts in and how he prepares," Mullen said on Wednesday's Southeastern Conference Coaches teleconference.
Mullen said that Russell is a good influence on Prescott.
"Dak get to see (Russell), learn from that and see how he does it," Mullen said. "They feed off each other's success.
"When Dak throws a touchdown pass, there's no one more excited than Tyler. When you get guys who want to win and do whatever it takes to win the game, they know it takes contributions from everybody on the entire roster. That excitement really helps and for Dak to see how Tyler prepares really helps him grow, helps him develop and helps him focus on what his role is from week to week."
Russell has completed 105-of-182 pass attempts for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, while Prescott has performed well as a short-yardage quarterback with 18 rushing attempts for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He has completed 4-of-8 pass attempts for 54 yards and another score.
The two Bulldogs lead their team into action Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium against Middle Tennessee. The homecoming matchup kicks off at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
Wild, wild West
Defending national champion Alabama is at the top of the Bowl Championship Series standings, while LSU, last year's national runner-up, is rated at No. 6.
The chances that the Southeastern Conference Western Division will be represented once again in the BCS National Championship game are pretty good.
Mullen has been keeping track of the situation.
"It's the toughest division in all of college football when you look at the depth and quality of teams that are on this side of the league," Mullen said. "Even the teams that have down years are pretty good teams. Arkansas has been a top 10 team at a point during the season. They have slipped, but have potential and still play like a top 10 team on film.
"Alabama, obviously the defending national champion, and LSU, the defending national runner-up, are two teams have really kept their game at that level. There's a lot of depth and talent in this part of the league and I can see what people look to that game (Alabama and LSU), because they played for the national championship last year and Alabama and LSU are two of the top teams in the country this year."
Green honored again
The midseason recognition keeps coming for MSU players.
Along with Russell's news on Wednesday, senior tight end Marcus Green was chosen the John Mackey Tight End of the Week, the Nassau County Sports Commission announced. Green is the only player thus far this season to earn the weekly national honor twice.
Green had a career-high six receptions for 71 yards and tied a career high with two touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 41-31 victory over Tennessee last Saturday.
On Monday, Green was selected to the midseason watch list for the 2012 John Mackey Award, given annually to the nationâ€™s top tight end. The 2012 recipient of "The Mackey" will be announced at the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Red Carpet Show, to be aired live on ESPNU on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
Alcorn back on schedule
The Bulldogs will play in-state opponent Alcorn State for the fourth time in five years at Davis Wade Stadium on Sept. 7, 2013.
MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin announced the addition of the game to the 2013 schedule on Wednesday.
â€śIt remains important to us to schedule teams from the state of Mississippi,â€ť Stricklin said in a press release. â€śWeâ€™ve played Jackson State and Alcorn State and have Southern Miss on the schedule in coming years. We feel it benefits Mississippi State University, as well as our opponents and the state of Mississippi.â€ť
The Bulldogs announced last week a non-conference matchup in 2013 with Oklahoma State in the Texas Kick Off, which will be played at Houstonâ€™s Reliant Stadium on August 31.
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