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By MICHAEL WARDLAW
Phase one of bowl preparation is nearing completion as the Bulldogs gear up for a Friday night scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium.Â Dan Mullen wants fans on hand to cheer on the Bulldogs in their final steps toward Nashville.
â€śWe are just going to put the ball down and play. Chris (Relf) will get a couple of reps, Dak (Prescott) will be exhausted,â€ť Mullen said.Â â€śIt is open so whoever wants to come out and watch can.Â Hey, it is always good to have fans come and watch, the more fans we have the more pressure on the players.â€ť
Those that make their way for gridiron action will be entertained by a group of Bulldogs geared up for having a good time and thatâ€™s just the way Mullen wants it.
â€śFun.Â Just go have fun,â€ť said Mullen. â€śWe will get the coaches off the field and out of the way and just let guys go into the stadium and play.Â You know a lot of them havenâ€™t had to play in the stadium before so just to be out there is good.â€ť
The scrimmage will also give fans an opportunity to see many of the newcomers who didnâ€™t play during the regular season.Â And before you think the product will be sub-par, you need to know this group has drastically improved as their reps have increased.
â€śOne thing youâ€™re starting to see now is guys getting comfortable and executing at a high level,â€ť Mullen said.Â â€śThatâ€™s a great thing for us going into the spring.â€ť
Fans can take in all the action at Davis Wade Stadium at 5 p.m.
Russell banged up
During Tuesdayâ€™s practice session Tyler Russell went down with a knee injury that appears to limit his action in preparation for the Music City Bowl.
â€śI donâ€™t think heâ€™ll be at 100 percent even for the game probably,â€ť mentioned Mullen.Â â€śRight now he canâ€™t move because he has the immobilizer on. We are going to be cautious and get him a couple of days of practice before the game.â€ť
James Maiden to return home
State will be without freshman defensive lineman James Maiden as he has opted to leave the program in order to return closer to home.Â The Woodville product was highly thought of coming out of high school as one of the top recruits in the state.
â€śHe decided to transfer and be closer to home,â€ť said Mullen. â€śHe was just a bit homesick.â€ť