STARKVILLE — Sylvester Croom left Saturday’s Mississippi State scrimmage liking his kickers and his defense, but decried a penalty-prone offense that contributed to a lack of scoring in short-field situations.

“We moved the ball pretty openly out in the field and then the offense didn’t perform well in the red zone today,” Croom, the MSU coach, said. “That’s something that we’ve got to spend some more time on next week.”

The scrimmage was closed to the public and the media, but dozens of former players and recruits watched at Scott Field.

Croom said he didn’t use some plays he’d like to have used because of the “cell phones and cameras,” and the offense was mostly without starting tailback Anthony Dixon, backup Christian Ducre and receivers Aubrey Bell and Jamayel Smith.

According to statistics released by the school, in two full-field drives, the first-stringers managed a stalled drive and a field goal. Same with the second string. The rest of the scrimmage was competed in short-field situations with the offenses scoring six times.
Ferguson a starter?

If MSU opened its season today, it would start true freshman Sean Ferguson at one of the defensive end spots, Croom said. Ferguson is ahead of Brandon Cooper and Cortez McCraney in competition, though McCraney is also playing in the interior of the line.

clarion ledger