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Dogs get defensive: Unit pressures offense during Friday football scrimmage

April 7, 2012

MSU linebacker Cameron Lawrence (10) locks in on wide receiver Malcolm Johnson during Friday's scrimmage. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

During Mississippi State's practice this spring, it was just a matter of time before the defense exploded onto the scene.

On Friday, the Bulldog defense handled the offense with relative ease.

“This league is based on speed and you’ve got to have that speed to get to the ball and contain the ball,” MSU football coach Dan Mullen said of his defense which attacked the football all afternoon. “Our guys played hard on defense (Friday).”

The defensive line was dominant in the second scrimmage of the spring for the Bulldogs. Josh Boyd and Denico Autry played with poise while several players and coaches sang the praises of Quay Evans.

The MSU secondary got into the action as well, disrupting receivers virtually all afternoon.

Despite the best efforts by the defense, the offense managed to have a turnover-free scrimmage in over 140 offense plays for the afternoon, a fact that the head coach liked.

“It was good and bad," Mullen said. "I wasn’t real pleased with the offense today. I want to see cleanness. I want to see consistency. I didn’t see a lot of penalties. Not a lot of turnovers, which is good. I think we only had four of our 13 drives where we had more than one first down. You can’t have that, that’s not playing the field position game. So obviously the defense really dominated (Friday).”

While the defense did take care of business, the offense did have their moments.

Tyler Russell threw for a pair of 14-yard scoring strikes to Chris Smith and Jameon Lewis. Not to be outdone, Dak Prescott had a pair of touchdown tosses of his own to Brandon Heavens and Robert Johnson.

“I thought Tyler was sloppy at times (Friday)," Mullen said. "He didn’t have his best day of the spring out there. There’s a lot of positives in what he was doing and the steps he’s taking to improve.”

On the ground, Ladarius Perkins, Derick Milton, and Nick Griffin all had rushing scores for the offense.

“I can be happy that the defense did better than the offense or I could be sad that the offense didn’t do that good,” Mullen said with a smile. “I don’t know that I really get to be happy after a scrimmage. We will watch it on film and evaluate whether it was good defense of bad offense.”

Mississippi State takes the Easter weekend off before returning to the gridiron next week to continue spring camp.

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