No passing fancy: Bulldogs’ new starting quarterback is armed for breakout season

HOOVER, Ala. — Chris Relf would like to let the rest of the Southeastern Conference know that he can throw the football. He can throw it a lot and throw it well.

And that’s a good thing since Relf, a fourth-year junior who met a mass of reporters Wednesday at the Wynfrey Hotel on the first day of the SEC football media days, heads into this season as Mississippi State’s starting quarterback.
Because he was used so much last year in short-yardage situations in which he ran the option, he has to dispel the notion that he’s not a great passer.
“A lot of people underestimate my throwing ability,” said Relf, who completed 22-of-41 passes for 283 yards and team-leading five touchdowns as a backup situational QB a year ago. “But this season, they’ll see.”
If State wants to get to a bowl in its second season under Dan Mullen following the coach’s 5-7 debut last year, Relf must demonstrate he has a strong, steady right arm. There were glimpses of that last year, especially in the 41-27 season-finale domination of Ole Miss, when Relf ran for 131 yards and a TD, and completed three passes including two for touchdowns.

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7/22/10