Head coach Dan Mullen and the Mississippi State football team begin preparations for a much-anticipated 2014 season with the first of 15 spring practices at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex.
Of the 15 practices, 14 will be open to the public. It culminates with the Maroon-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 12 at noon CT. The spring game is once again part of Super Bulldog Weekend, MSU’s annual spring homecoming. For more information on Super Bulldog Weekend, visit www.hailstate.com/SBW.
NCAA rules permit teams to go through 15 spring practice sessions. The Bulldogs will scrimmage twice (March 29, April 5) as part of the spring workouts.
Mullen begins his sixth season with the program, having guided MSU to four consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history and a 36-28 overall record. He is the quickest MSU coach to 36 victories since Allyn McKeen in 1942. He is also tops in school history in bowl game wins with three.
A veteran squad returns in 2014 that helped the Bulldogs end the 2013 campaign with three consecutive victories to finish 7-6, including a 44-7 win over Rice in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Quarterback Dak Prescott, who enters his junior season, was a catalyst for a record-setting MSU offense that shattered team marks for total yards (5,647), yards per game (434.4), passing yards (3,178), first downs (300) and completion percentage (59.0).
Prescott tossed for 1,940 yards on 156-of-267 passes with 10 touchdowns. He added a team-best 829 yards on the ground with 13 rushing scores. Prescott leads all returning Southeastern Conference quarterbacks with 17 career rushing touchdowns.
MSU returns 57 letterwinners – 27 on each side of the ball – and 17 total starters. The Bulldogs’ entire receiving core of Jameon Lewis, De’Runnya Wilson, Joe Morrow and Robert Johnson remains intact. MSU’s offensive line will be anchored by three seniors – center Dillon Day, guard Ben Beckwith and tackle Blaine Clausell.
Geoff Collins’ defense brings back nine players who started at least four games last season. Three seniors make up the defensive line, including Kaleb Eulls, P.J. Jones and Preston Smith. Defensive tackle Chris Jones is coming off a true freshman season where he tied for the team lead in tackles for loss with seven.
Linebacker Benardrick McKinney elected to return for his junior season after leading the squad in total tackles with 71 to go along with seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. MSU’s secondary will display plenty of versatility and depth in 2014 with corners Taveze Calhoun and Jamerson Love and safeties Kendrick Market and Jay Hughes.
For more information on the MSU football team, follow the program on social media by searching for “HailStateFB” on Twitter and Instagram and visiting our Facebook page. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.
2014 MSU Spring Football Practice Dates (open to the public)
** times are tentative and subject to change, follow @HailStateFB for updates
** All practices at Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex unless otherwise indicated
** Fans must remain in the concrete area during practice.
Tuesday, March 18 – 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday, March 19 – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, March 21 – 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 22 – 11:25 a.m.
Tuesday, March 25 – 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, March 27 – 4 p.m.
Friday, March 28 – 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 29 (Scrimmage in Davis Wade Stadium) – 11 a.m.
Tuesday, April 1 – 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, April 3 – 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, April 5 (Scrimmage, location TBA) – 11:20 a.m.
Tuesday, April 8 – 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, April 10 – 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, April 12 (Maroon and White Spring Game in Davis Wade Stadium) – Noon