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April 7, 2011

Bulldogs prep for spring game

Mississippi State wrapped up its spring work Thursday afternoon with only two more appearances to make.

The Bulldogs will hold their annual Maroon-White scrimmage on Saturday afternoon inside Davis Wade Stadium and conclude spring drills with a light practice on Monday.

The spring game will be the third under head coach Dan Mullen, who plans to observe how his team reacts in front of what is expected to be another record breaking crowd.

"For me I just want to see how guys perform in the stadium," Mullen said. "You're going to put 40,000 people into the stadium and it's going to be a little bit different than just watching and being at practice one day. There are a lot of guys who are going to have to play for us in situations that have not been in live game situations in front of big crowds. We'll see how they respond."

Mullen's goal for the spring game is to make sure that everyone on his squad gets involved at some point on Saturday.

"I want to get everybody on the field at some point during the game," Mullen said. "I'll spend most of my day managing reps and making sure everybody gets the work they need."

MSU divided its roster into the maroon and white teams on Thursday with the player draft.

"Usually with our staff it stays balanced," Mullen said. "One team will have an advantage in one area and the other team will have an advantage in another area usually."

One player that will likely not be participating on Saturday is rising sophomore safety Nickoe Whitley. Whitley has missed the past few practices with a knee injury but is expected back on Monday for the final practice.

The spring game does have its implications. The losing squad must show up at 10 a.m. Sunday morning and clean up the stadium as punishment.

Thursday's practice began earlier than usual and once again had the defense prevailing after a lengthy scrimmage period.

"The defense started good, got a little sloppy then finished really strong," Mullen said. "On offense there was too many dropped balls and too many mistakes. No leadership really stepped up on offense today when they needed it as the scrimmage wore on. The defense definitely rebounded from last Saturday."

Saturday's scrimmage begins at 5 p.m. and will be televised live on CSS and ESPN3.com. Admission is free to the public. Lee and Leo Seal will coach the Maroon team while Jim Rouse with be in charge of the White.



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