STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State's offensive overhaul is in its final stages.
Tyler Russell takes over as the Bulldogs' quarterback after two seasons as the backup. Russell has a better arm than predecessor Chris Relf, but doesn't run as well, and the playbook has been tailored to his strengths.
Coach Dan Mullen said Russell looked like a quarterback who is "very comfortable" with the offense during the team's first preseason practice on Thursday. The 6-foot-5 junior threw for 1,034 yards and eight touchdowns last season in a part-time role.
Mississippi State is coming off two straight winning seasons, including victories in the Gator Bowl and Music City Bowl. But the Bulldogs are still trying to break into the top half of the SEC Western Division, which includes the past three national champions.