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MSU QB Situation Goes From Bad To Worse

quarterback-silhouette-question-markSenior Tyler Russell was expected to be Mississippi State’s starting quarterback in 2013.  But Russell was lost to a concussion in an opening day loss to Oklahoma State.

By the time Russell returned, sophomore Dak Prescott had proven to be a dual threat from the QB position.  His arm and his legs — mainly his legs — made him one of if not the best weapon on State’s offense.

Last week against Alabama, Prescott sat out with an injury to his throwing elbow.  Russell got the start before leaving the game early with an injured throwing shoulder.

With Prescott and Russell both listed as day-to-day on State’s injury report, Dan Mullen says true freshman Damian Williams could get the starting nod for this week’s game with Arkansas.  Williams failed to complete a pass in five attempts filling in for Russell against the Crimson Tide.  No matter, says the coach:

 

“If we treat these guys like they’re your kids, you’re going to be a bit more cautious with them than I probably would myself.  If Damien is healthy and the other guys aren’t, we’ll go with Damian…

For a situation, give him a lot of credit on Saturday night.  To sit there and say ‘Go get it, big guy,’ and to come in and perform, we’d obviously like him to perform at a higher level but the stage wasn’t too big for him.”

 

Williams did complete 11-of-18 throws for 152 yards against Alcorn State and Troy in mop-up duty.

Saturday’s battle between the Bulldogs (1-5 in the SEC) and the Razorbacks (0-6) will go a long way toward determining who lands in the West Division cellar this season.

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MSU’s Mullen Won’t Share His QB Plans For LSU

gfx - they said itTwo weeks ago, Dan Mullen said that despite leading Mississippi State to a 62-7 win over Troy, Dak Prescott had not stolen the starting quarterback job from Tyler Russell.  Russell suffered a concussion in the opener against Oklahoma State (loss) and has missed the Alcorn State (win), Auburn (loss), and Troy games.

Now Russell is set to return as LSU invades Davis-Wade Stadium.  So is Mullen sticking to his plan to hand the starter’s gig back to Russell?  He isn’t saying:

 

“We’ll figure it out as we go.  The same way we do with (running backs LaDarius Perkins) and (defensive linemen) Josh Robinson and Preston Smith and Ryan Brown.  It’s all the same.  Guys need to be ready to play…

(Prescott’s playing time is) always going to change from game to game.  We’ll figure that out on gameday when we have the final plan ready for LSU.”

 

Prescott has performed admirably while filling in for Russell.  The dual-threat QB is averaging 177 yards passing and just under 54 yards rushing per game.  He currently ranks ninth in the SEC in passer rating.

So how much will he play against LSU?  Stay tuned.

 

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MSU’s QB Russell Back At Practice

tyler-russell-msu-passingQuarterback Tyler Russell returned to the Mississippi State practice fields yesterday.  The senior missed last week’s blowout win over Alcorn State after suffering a concussion in MSU’s season-opening loss to Oklahoma State.

So will Russell be the starter when State visits Auburn this weekend?  “If Tyler is healthy enough to go,” said Dan Mullen, “then he’ll be playing quarterback for us… if he’s not, then Dak (Prescott) will be playing quarterback for us.”

Russell got off to a hot start against OSU before leaving that game.  He was 10-of-16 through the air for 263 yards.  He did throw an interception, however.

In two games against Auburn (as a freshman and as a junior), Russell is 24-of-38 passes for 241 yards, three TDs and one INT.  He led the Bulldogs to a 28-10 win over the Tigers last fall.

 

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Mississippi State 51 – Alcorn State 7

Video highlights of Mississippi State’s 51-7 victory over Alcorn State.

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Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen: Tyler Russell “Doubtful” For Saturday & Jay Hughes Done For The Year

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen talks injuries and the outlook ahead of Saturday’s game againt Alcorn State.

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Florida Drops One-Point Decision At Arizona, SEC Goes 4-5 In Saturday Hoops

 

 

Sunday Wow Headlines 12/16/2012

Saturday SEC Basketball
Kentucky 88 – Lipscomb 50
Oklahoma 64 – Texas A&M 54
VCU 73 – Alabama 54
Iona 81 – Georgia 78
Loyola 59, Mississippi State 51
Vanderbilt 71 – Alabama A&M 46
Arkansas 97 – Alcorn State 59
Auburn 64 – Furman 50
Arizona 65 – Florida 64
New Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash reportedly has interest in staying at Wisconsin as head coach
Vanderbilt has sold more than 17,000 tickets for the Music City Bowl
Florida has sold just 6,500 tickets for the Sugar Bowl
The non-football members of the Big East are officially leaving the conference, creating more uncertainty around possible expansion and realignment of major conferences, including SEC
Follow the SEC every single day at MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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Clarke Granted Release From Arkansas

Last week, basketballer Rotnei Clarke decided to get word to the press that he’d asked for a release from his Arkansas scholarship.  Over the weekend, new coach Mike Anderson considered the situation.  Yesterday, the Razorbacks’ leading scorer from a year ago was given his release.

“Upon receiving a written request and meeting with (Clarke), as part of our review process, it is clear to me that it is in the best interests of everyone for Rotnei to continue his academic and athletic career elsewhere,” AD Jeff Long said via statement yesterday.  “We wish him well and hope that he finds what he is searching for at a new institution.”

Anderson also released comments yesterday: “Shortly after I arrived, I met with him and was given every indication that he wanted to be a part of our program moving forward.  Recently, Rotnei informed me of his intent to leave the University of Arkansas.  At that time, I informed him that he would need to speak with the athletic director regarding his request.  I then recommended to Jeff Long that we grant him a release to allow him to speak to other schools.”

“We will continue to build our program with student-athletes who are committed on and off the court to being Razorbacks,” Anderson continued.  “That is how this program was built, with guys who are dedicated to the hard work, pride and passion it requires to be a part of the championship tradition of Razorback Basketball.”

Last week, Clarke told CBSSports.com: “I love the school and the fans, but I just don’t feel as though it’s the best fit for me basketball-wise.”  He also said, “I have spent the last couple of months getting to know Coach Anderson, his staff and his system.  And I still feel as though it’s best for me to finish my career somewhere else.”

Clarke averaged 14.2 points per game over his 92-game UA career.  He holds the school record for most points in a game with 51 versus Alcorn State in 2009-10.  He was one of the deadliest three-point gunners in the SEC.

Without Clarke — and Glenn Bryant and Jeff Peterson who also transferred out — the Hogs will have just six returning scholarship players next season.  Four of Arkansas’ five spring signees, however, are expected to be academically eligible.

It’s one thing to have 10 scholarship players.  It’s another thing to have 10 scholarship players when trying to run up and down the court with a “40 minutes of Hell” style of play.  

Making matters worse, the departures of Clarke and Bryant will be another hit on UA’s APR score.  The Hogs are already being docked one scholarship due to a history of low scores.  (Peterson had already graduated, so his departure will not count against the program.)

As for Clarke, he’ll have to sit out a year before playing his final season of college ball at his new school.

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Report: Top Scorer Clarke Asks For Release From Arkansas

On June 1st, folks in the Ozarks were wondering if Mike Anderson was going to have too many players and not enough scholarships on his first Arkansas basketball team.

Things have changed.

Glenn Bryant (who’s transferring to Eastern Michigan) and Jeff Peterson have left the program in the last two weeks.  The eligibility of incoming Top 100 recruit Aaron Ross is now in question.  And the Hogs leading scorer from a year ago might be on his way out, too.

According to Shawn Arnell of The Arkansas Radio Network, long-distance gunner Rotnei Clarke has asked for his release from Arkansas.  Yesterday, UA officials refused to comment on the report.  But on Wednesday, Clarke’s father had asked “not really” when asked by the media if his son was planning to transfer.

However, Clarke has asked for a release previously.  He did so when John Pelphrey was fired, before Anderson was hired.

Clarke has started 91 of his 92 games in Fayetteville, averaged 15.2 points per game last year and holds the school record with 51 points in a 2009-10 game against Alcorn State.

Clearly, Clarke is one of the best shooters in the Southeastern Conference and he’s also the kind of player others rally around.  Losing Clarke would be a gut shot to Anderson’s first Razorback squad.

Stay tuned…

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