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August 6, 2011

Bulldogs don shoulder pads

Mississippi State donned shoulder pads in its third day of work for fall camp and also continued working in split squads during the morning and evening practice.

The Bulldogs worked their first and fourth teams during an 8:45 a.m. session followed up with the second and third team units at 2:45 p.m. working an hour and a half each practice.

With shoulder pads added to the mix today MSU was able to do a bit more contact work especially during the scrimmage portion of the practices.

"There's always an adjustment when you're out here in the heat," said Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen. "All summer you condition in just regular clothes and they you're allowed to put on pads and helmets when you get out here. I think it takes just a second to get back used to it."

Mullen felt there was an extra degree of intensity at practice with shoulder pads than the two previous days in helmets only.

"I think it does," Mullen said "If it doesn't then you don't like football. Anytime you put pads on and bump into people more then that's the game of football."

Since the squad was split in half there were plenty of reps to go around. This gave the coaches plenty of film to evaluate each player on the roster as well as giving each player his time to shine.

"When you split the team in half like that it's hard to hide," Mullen said. "It weeds out the imposters pretty quick."

The offense was able to move the ball somewhat effectively during the scrimmages but Mullen hopes when the team returns together as a whole that it will be even better.

"Not bad but a little sloppy at times," Mullen said of his offense. "I think tomorrow when you put everybody back together I'm hoping it's a little smoother."

Senior quarterback Chris Relf had a strong morning session throwing the football during the scrimmage. Relf finished the final drill from midfield in only three plays completing three passes with the final going to senior tight end Marcus Green for a 35-yard touchdown.

Relf's performance came on the heels of sophomore Tyler Russell's strong showing behind center Friday night.

"Chris had a good day this morning which is what you want to see," Mullen said. "Tyler had a great day last night. We will watch this one (in the afternoon) to see how they did. To me it's all going to be about consistency. I don't want to have a big day and then a bad day. I want to be really steady at the quarterback position."

Only two Bulldogs were on the injury report. Redshirt freshman tight end Malcolm Johnson missed Saturday morning's practice due to illness while sophomore running back LaDarius Perkins had to leave the afternoon session early on with flu-like symptoms.

Saturday's practice was the final open to the public. State will resume practice Sunday afternoon.



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