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ESPN’s Palmer: MSU’s Prescott Is The Best Running QB Mullen Has Coached

gfx - by the numbersBetter than Tim Tebow?  Better than Alex Smith?

According to ESPN analyst and former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen has never coached a better running quarterback than the guy he’s got now:

 

“He’s the best running quarterback that Dan Mullen’s ever coached.  Yeah, that includes Alex Smith, who was the #1 pick overall.  That includes Tim Tebow…

The escapability, you don’t have to block everybody in order for him to give you the explosive play.  He makes this offense better in the red zone a lot like Tim Tebow and Alex Smith.”

 

When healthy, Prescott did make the Bulldogs’ offense tougher to prepare for thanks to his legs.  That much can’t be debated.  It also can’t be debated that both Tebow and Smith had more talent around them (or in Smith’s case played a lesser schedule) during their collegiate careers.  Still, the “big play” talk got us to wondering…

Below are the rushing numbers for each QB mentioned by Palmer.  Let’s see how Prescott stacks up.  We’ll look only at seasons in which the quarterbacks in question topped the 100-carry mark:

 

  Quarterback   Rushes   Yards   Yds/Carry   TDs
  Prescott, MSU 2013   111   722   6.5   10
  Smith, Utah 2004   135   631   4.6   10
  Tebow, Florida 2007   210   895   4.3   23
  Tebow, Florida 2009   217   910   4.2   14
  Tebow, Florida 2008   176   673   3.8   12
  Smith, Utah 2003   149   452   3.0   5

 

Tebow was a battering ram.  Prescott is a scrambler.  Smith was somewhere between the two.  All three QBs played in the same system, but all three were used a bit differently.  Still, a look at the numbers does suggest Prescott is more capable of big plays and escapes than the other two greats coached by Mullen.

Perhaps that’s one reason he finished among the SEC’s 10 best rushers this past season.

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UK Tight End Smith Dismissed From Team

Kentucky tight end Alex Smith has been dismissed from the Wildcat football team for the dreaded “unspecified violation of team rules.”

Smith is a 6-5, 248-pound redshirt freshman.  He was ranked as the #11 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com last February.  He was also graded as the 13th best player in Ohio.

But Smith entered spring practice this season as the seventh tight end on Joker Phillips’ depth chart.

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Scrimmage notes

Kentucky
Content provided by Chip Cosby on UK football.

Kentucky conducted a scrimmage for its redshirts and younger players on Thursday. Here’s a few notes:

-Rainy weather forced the scrimmage indoors at Nutter Field House. The scrimmage went 60 plays, and only 60 yards of the field was used (The coaches made the end zone the 20-yard line to avoid a part of the turf that meets up with the indoor track, which could cause injury if a player were to be tackled on it.

-Morgan Newton started the first drive at quarterback and led the offense to a touchdown, as Jonathan George scored on a 2-yard run. Newton would leave the scrimmage later after twisting his ankle.

-Ryan Mossakowski had some impressive moments, including a 50-yard TD pass to E.J. Fields, who made a nice adjustment on the ball and broke a tackle on his way to the end zone.

-Brandon Gainer and Teven McCaden got the bulk of the carries at tailback. McCaden scored on a 47-yard TD run but also coughed up a fumble. Gainer lost a fumble but made some nice runs. Phillips is hoping that Gainer will continue to learn how to use his 5-foot-11, 215-pound frame.

“He’s got more consistent in knowing when to lower his pads,” Phillips said. “He had a chance on the goal line on one we thought he’d get in, and he’s cruising trying to be cute. This isn’t a cute game, especially for a big back.

-Mister Cobble dominated at defensive tackle. Cobble, who’s sitting out for academics, sacked Newton and was in the backfield all morning.

-Phillips liked what he saw out of redshirt linebacker Malcolm McDuffen.

“He’s one of those speed linebackers you have to have in this league,” Phillips said. “He can go out and play in space.”

-Miles Simpson, who signed as a running back in February, spent the scrimmage at safety. Simpson looked physical enough to make the adjustment and Phillips said he could ultimately wind up at linebacker.

-Tight end Alex Smith and receiver Brian Adams sat out the scrimmage with injuries.  Smith was walking in a boot with a bad ankle, and Adams has a hamstring injury that might keep him out of next week’s game at Tennessee.

Phillips was disappointed that he wasn’t able to get a good look at Smith, the highest-rated member of the recruiting class who redshirted after a rough fall camp.

“This scrimmage is for guys like Alex Smith,” Phillips said. “We really wanted to see him. We went 60 reps and I would have liked to have seen Alex in 25 or 30 of those reps.”

Another freshman tight end, Ronnie Shields, had a pair of catches and received praise from Phillips on his blocking.

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