Four Mississippi State quarterbacks combined for five passing touchdowns as the Bulldog offense excelled in the squad’s second spring scrimmage on Saturday afternoon in Davis Wade Stadium.
MSU threw for over 600 yards and committed zero turnovers in the over 150-play scrimmage.
“It was a different day,” MSU head coach Dan Mullen said. “As the head coach, I wanted to see good football. I thought the offense executed a lot better today than they did last week. I saw fewer mistakes. Defensively, I wanted to see some guys step up and make plays. We need guys that can do that, and we will get there.”
Despite the absence of Fred Ross, Donald Gray and Fred Brown, several young Bulldog wideouts stepped up and showed their versatility. Sophomore Malik Dear went over 100 yards receiving and hauled in two touchdowns, including a 34-yard strike down the near sideline from Nick Tiano against the first-team defense. Redshirt freshman Keith Mixon added seven catches.
“They did a good job,” Mullen said. “They are young guys that are getting opportunities and taking big steps forward. I think Keith (Mixon) has had an unbelievable spring, but all of them are taking giant steps forward because they have an opportunity to really learn. They are getting opportunities for the first time and they know what they are doing and making some plays.”
Redshirt freshman Jonnas Spivey accounted for the longest play of the day — a 52-yard touchdown pass from Tiano — that capped a 75-yard drive. Redshirt freshman Deddrick Thomas caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Damian Williams. Sophomore quarterback Nick Fitzgerald found junior Gabe Myles for a 29-yard touchdown.
Junior place kicker Westin Graves drilled all three of his field goal attempts. Defensively, senior safety Kivon Coman and sophomore safety Mark McLaurin led the way with eight tackles apiece.
The Bulldogs enter their final week of spring ball, practicing Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and then hosting the Maroon and White Spring Game as part of Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions next Saturday at 11 a.m. in Davis Wade Stadium. Admission to the contest is free. The midweek practices are closed to the public.
“I think next Saturday will be a learning experience too,” Mullen said. “A lot of them are going on a big stage. I hope we have a good crowd here. One of the big things about having a big crowd at the spring game is to put pressure on guys that have not been in that role. There are four guys that could potentially start (at quarterback) so we are looking to see them perform at a high level.”