August 26, 2010

Quarterbacks preview

One of the glaring questions on the mind of nearly every Mississippi State fan is how will the Bulldogs be at quarterback this year.

MSU has to replace two-year starter Tyson Lee with a quarterback with no starting experience on the roster. Junior Chris Relf and redshirt freshman Tyler Russell are the frontrunners to take over the reigns of the offense and have been battling it out for the starting job during the offseason.

"I'm very pleased (with the quarterback competition)," said MSU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Les Koenning. "It's going really good and they are all doing really well. Each one of them has stepped up and taken a leadership role. It's a great competition and has been really fun."

Relf is the only signal caller that has taken a snap at the college level. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder has appeared in a dozen games including 10 in 2009. He completed 22-fo-41 passing for 283 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions on the year while rushing for an additional 500 yards and two more scores.

Relf emerged from the spring as the starter and has improved in every facet of his game in the offseason.

"He's progressed a lot and taken a lot of responsibility upon himself," Koenning said. "It's been a great pleasure for us as a team. He's taken a lot of pride and I look forward to seeing him in a game."

Russell, a former Parade All-American, redshirted his first year in Starkville and had a tough spring game tossing a pair of interceptions. But the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder has bounced back to have a solid fall camp and is now back pushing Relf for the starting nod.

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