State gets back to basics on field
By MICHAEL WARDLAW
Make no mistake about it, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pretty football.
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During Tuesdayâs practice, he hit Jameon Lewis in stride for a 60-yard strike.Â However, moments later he missed a wide-open target in the flat.Â Nothing against Prescott, thatâs just the nature of whatâs happening this week during MSUâs first week of bowl preparation.
One could easily coin this week as ârookie weekâ because thatâs practically the only players getting snaps this week.Â
âWe wonât have the older guys a whole bunch.Â Weâll get the younger guys and run them pretty hard,â said Stateâs offensive coordinator Les Koenning.Â âThey need it because theyâve been on scout team and doing different things all year and now all of the sudden we put them in there and say youâve got to know these plays.â
Mullen echoed Koenningâs sentiments.
âWeâre working fundamentals and getting back to a lot of basics, a lot of the things we donât have time for during the season,â he said.Â âThey donât even understand practice all of the time so this week gives them an opportunity to understand what spring is going to be like because we are counting on them to take that next step forward.â
In the early going, several players have made plays that quickly got attention and there are indications that there are several talented, young players on the roster.
âYou can see that he has talent but is very inconsistent and he knows that,â said Koenning of Prescott.Â âHe says âcoach it is just differentâ and it is different.Â The speed of the game has picked up and youâve got to react quicker.â
Junior receiver Chad Bumphis, who sat out Stateâs Gator Bowl victory with an injury, sees the progress in the youngsters as well.
âThey look good, but I think it is mainly because they feel comfortable out there," said Bumphis.Â "Joe (Morrow) you can tell right now he is just a lot more comfortable.Â Thereâs not a lot of new stuff in, it's just basic stuff, so theyâve done real good.â
Mississippi State will continue their week of bowl preparation today with a 1 p.m. session that is once again open to the public.