After getting the worst end earlier this week, the Mississippi State offense responded in a major way in Saturday's scrimmage at Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs racked up several big plays and touchdowns, showing the ability to bounce back strong in MSU's second scrimmage of the spring.
"We scrimmaged pretty good day and we all made a lot of good throws," said quarterback Chris Relf. "The defense whooped us pretty good two times over the last two weeks so we had to come out here and execute today."
Relf opened the scoring fest on the opening play from scrimmage with a perfect pass to Chad Bumphis. Relf hit Bumphis in stride and the junior receiver did the rest with a 65-yard touchdown reception. Relf also had a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Heavens and rushed for another score.
"It was tough and every day we have to come out here and compete," said Relf. "Everybody has good days and everybody has bad days. Over the last two weeks, we had two bad days but had a good day today.
"The offensive line brought it real good today. I guess they got in their playbook, learned their schemes and came out here and executed."
After getting burned on the first play from scrimmage, the MSU defense never seemed to recover. At times the defensive line put good pressure on the MSU quarterbacks. But more times than not, the MSU secondary allowed several big pass plays.
"We are old enough now to know one play doesn't change the game and we should re-focus," said cornerback Corey Broomfield. "But we didn't do that today. We just have to read our keys and react. And it's just that simple."
As was their lack of execution, said Broomfield.
"A lot of times we just didn't execute," added Broomfield, who had an interception. "It was a real basic day where you just line up and play. But we didn't come to play and it was that simple."
The Bulldogs also produced big yardage on the ground. Tailbacks LaDarius Perkins and Vick Ballard each had a scoring run as did fullbacks Sylvester Hemphill and Adrian Marcus, who broke several tackles for a 38-yard touchdown rumble.
"I feel like we came out with more intensity than we did in the other scrimmage we had," said Perkins. "I feel like we stepped up, young receivers stepped up and the O-line stepped up, too. We were just clicking today and we want to carry that over.
"The O-line picked it up today a lot. We've been having bad snaps but today all the snaps were on point, the O-line was on point and everybody's blocking was on point. They did a great job today."
MSU also encoutered success with Tyler Russell and Dylan Favre directing the offensive attack. True freshman Dak Prescott also got in some work but received less reps than the other three signal callers.
Favre tossed an 8-yard scoring toss to Chris Smith and a 35-yard scoring strike to Michael Carr and also rushed for another score. Russell had scoring tosses to Bumphis and Arceto Clark as well.
"It all came down to the receivers and quarterbacks coming out and working hard," said sophomore Ricco Sanders. "It was just about us getting our timing down."
During the scrimmage, several key defensive starters were out with minor injuries such as linebacker Cameron Lawrence and Devin Jones, who had surgery on a broken hand yesterday but is expected to practice next week.
"It was probably our most simple scrimmage so far and we didn't do a lot and played a lot of young guys," said MSU defensive coordinator Chris Wilson. "So that equates to a lot of us not executing. We did not execute well. There were points in the scrimmage where we didn't play extremely hard and those are the things that stand out."
But being able to play a lot of new faces and doing so in different situations will benefit the defense the rest of spring ball, said Wilson. It also served the top goal of giving Wilson and the defensive staff more to evaluate on film.
"The biggest thing is we know the guys can play," said Wilson. "The Johnthan Banks, Charles Mitchells and Fletcher Cox but what we need to do is get those two-deep guys going. That is where we have to make a lot of improvement over the next four days.
"What was nice about this scrimmage is it truly allowed us to evaluate personnel and not schemes. So what does that mean? Jeff Howie got a chance to play with the 1's. Kaleb Eulls was with the 1's and they had a chance to play 40-plus snaps to understand what it's like to play at that level. So those are the things we're gonna base this scrimmage on."