AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Todd Grantham’s new Mississippi State defense set the tone, recording two interceptions for touchdowns as the White team beat the Maroon team, 21-10, in the 2017 spring football game on Saturday in Davis Wade Stadium.
“We saw some guys make some plays, giving them their first chance really playing in front of a crowd,” head coach Dan Mullen said. “Next time we come out here and play in front of a crowd, it will be for real, so we have to start making those plays.”
Highly-touted redshirt freshman Cameron Dantzler tallied two picks and raced 81 yards for the game’s first score with 5:05 remaining in the first quarter.
“I’ve been working on my technique and doing the things that I was coached to do,” Dantzler said. “I’ve been working on a lot of things all spring. I was kind of nervous because I was coming off an injury. This is the first game, but I did what coach told me to do, and I had a good game today.”
Maroon took the lead in the second quarter on Nick Fitzgerald’s 5-yard touchdown run and a field goal as time expired. Fitzgerald played the first half and was 14-of-27 for 127 yards.
Several first-team Bulldogs did not see action in the contest, including top wideout Donald Gray, key tight ends Farrod Green and Justin Johnson as well as defensive starters Leo Lewis, Dez Harris and Brandon Bryant. Offensive line starters Elgton Jenkins and Deion Calhoun, who have had limited contact this spring, did not play.
Nick Gibson led the ground attack, rushing for 108 yards on 17 carries for Maroon. Aeris Williams, MSU’s starter at the position, added 54 yards, while Dontavian Lee provided the game’s second offensive touchdown on a 1-yard run with 11:06 to go in the third quarter.
White put the finishing touches when safety Brian Cole picked off a pass and ran it back 54 yards for another touchdown with 8:26 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs have one more practice before the spring ends. They will spend Tuesday reviewing the scrimmage and working on team situations.