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March 10, 2011Mississippi State took to the practice fields on Thursday for the final time before taking a two week layoff for spring break.
The Bulldogs worked for two hours during their fourth spring practice and second in full pads. Head coach Dan Mullen has been pleased with the work and effort his team has put in thus far before the layoff.
"I feel pretty good," Mullen said. "We've got a little foundation and work done. We've got some things installed. We'll let them go back and get a little breather and get away a little bit and then we'll come back and review everything that we've done before for the first couple of days before we come back."
Thursday's practice was scrimmage-heavy as nearly half of the day was spent in a live scrimmage. The offense emerged as the days winner edging out the defense, who had started the day off strong, 97-95.
"The offense won which really shocked me," Mullen said. "They won by like three points at the end. Honestly I think they won because our quarterbacks did a good job of managing. They were checking the ball down and getting it out of their hands managing the game and that was probably the difference."
The close score also helped reinforce the message that Mullen has stressed since his arrival that one play can make the difference in a game.
"The margin for error is so small between winning and losing," Mullen said. "It could have been any play all day that could have changed the difference."
Rising senior Chris Relf is continuing to take first team reps at quarterback after starting every game for the Bulldogs in 2010.
"He's been great," Mullen said. "He's acting like an older guy trying to be a leader. He's continuing to improve in his game of being a quarterback."
Mullen went into Thursday's session expecting to a bit of a drop off after three instillation practices but seemed happy with the way things turned out.
"It was a good practice today," Mullen said. "I got to see some guys make some plays. Day four is supposed to be a little bit sloppier because there is a lot of mental buildup right now but I'm pretty pleased to see the improvement from day-to-day."
State is working out a lot of different players at numerous positions to ensure everyone gets a chance to show what they can do this spring.
"A lot of guys are going to get opportunities," Mullen said. "Everybody wants their chance to get on the field and we're going to do that this spring. We're going to give everybody chances to go seize your moment and prove yourself that you deserve a shot. In fall camp we're not going to be able to give everybody these opportunities."
The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields on March 24.
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