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April 5, 2011Mississippi State went back to work Tuesday afternoon coming off Saturday's scrimmage inside Davis Wade Stadium.
Head coach Dan Mullen left the practice fields pleased with the way his team responded entering the final week of spring.
"It was a pretty good day today," Mullen said. "It was what I wanted. In this last week we've got to be clean and see some high level performances on both sides of the ball and we're doing that. We'll get this team ready to go to the standard that we believe Mississippi State football should be."
Mullen deemed that scrimmage this past Saturday as "the most important day of the spring" and saw the offense dominate their defensive counterparts especially through the passing game.
On Tuesday it was time to get some of those mistakes corrected.
"A lot of pass defense we had to get cleaned up," Mullen said. "Then there was some other things offensively that maybe we haven't gotten enough reps of during spring or things we didn't do in the scrimmage. We ran a bunch today and maybe that will set you back because it didn't look great but we needed to get the reps done so the guys can learn them."
The Bulldogs receiving corps have been a strong suit all spring. After two seasons on inexperience and inconsistency it appears that unit is taking a step forward.
"There is an understanding of a good group of them and I guess another benefit is there are some talented young guys," Mullen said. "You see some flashes of talent from the younger guys and the consistency of the older guys gives us finally a core that we are comfortable with going into the season."
Two players returned to practice on Tuesday as rising junior defensive tackle Devin Jones (hand) was back with a club on his hand while junior Cameron Lawrence resumed his duties at linebacker after a quad injury.
"Devin they just had to put the club on him," Mullen said. "Cam probably did more today than we thought he would do. That was good and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields one final time in front of the media and public this spring on Thursday.
"Thursday has got to be a great day to finish up the right way," Mullen said. "Saturday is the fun day and hopefully we'll have 40,000 people here and they get to go out and put on a show for everybody. Really Thursday is the big day and then Monday is our non-padded last day where we get everything organized for the offseason."
Thursday will also be the day that State divides its roster and holds a player draft for the spring game.
"I'll split up the coaching staff onto their two teams then we'll match names," Mullen said. "If somebody picks Chris Relf then the other gets Tyler Russell. So there is some strategy to our draft of who you want and who you want the other team to take."