October 10th, 2011 01:21 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Mississippi State
Tags: Coach Mullen, South Carolina, Tyler Russell, UAB
To the folks in the stands, it looked like Chris Relf might have played himself out of the starting quarterback job at Mississippi State. And that Tyler Russell might have played himself into that role.
But Dan Mullen isn’t saying one way or the other.
Relf has struggled more and more as the season has progressed. On Saturday, with MSU trailing winless UAB 3-0 at the half, Relf was pulled after completing 6 of 10 passes for 46 yards.
Russell then entered the game, completed 11 of 13 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns, and led the Dogs to a 21-3 victory.
“I thought Chris played fairly well. The issue wasn’t just one person across the board. It was dropped passes, some missed blocks. It was some negative yardage plays in the first half that put us behind the chains. Really, the turnaround was the overall execution of the offense in the second half compared to the first half.”
Relf, however, bemoaned the fact after the game that the coaches do not have faith in him to throw the ball down the field.
“Coach Mullen said I’m still going to be the starting quarterback. It’s just a matter of me going out there and playing hard. It’s just a matter of them believing in me to throw the ball in the game…
I just think we’ve got to throw the ball down the field. I didn’t have that chance, and Tyler had that chance to throw the ball down the field in the second half. He made the big plays, and I’m just happy with the win. … I feel like the coaches need to trust me more to throw the ball down the field.”
Mullen said that’s not the case and that the staff has “some trust in him to make decisions and to get the ball to the people that he needs to get the ball to.
For his part, Russell said he’ll continue to work hard will be ready to play against South Carolina this weekend whenever he’s called upon.
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