STARKVILLE — Mississippi State redshirt freshman tailback Nick Griffin could get see his first action Saturday.
MSU coach Dan Mullen confirmed Monday afternoon in his weekly press conference that the redshirt freshman has been medically cleared to play and will be active for the team’s game at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU) against Louisiana Tech (1-2).
Griffin suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in spring practice that required surgery, but he was on the dress list for MSU’s 41-34 loss at Auburn University on Sept. 10. The New Augusta native was a three-star prospect coming out of high school two years ago.
“He’s practiced for two straight weeks, been ready to go in the game two straight weeks, and, fortunately, we haven’t had to use him,” Mullen said. “I wanted him to be ready to go play and then try to when he felt he was ready to wait another couple of weeks.”
Mullen said Griffin could get in on special teams.
Mullen also said he expects senior left tackle James Carmon (knee) to be available this weekend, but MSU offensive line coach John Hevesy wants to wait and see what the 320-pound lineman can handle physically this week in practice before assessing his status. Hevesy confirmed Monday redshirt freshman Blaine Clausell likely would start at left tackle Saturday.
Freshman running back Josh Robinson suffered a sprained ankle and won’t play this weekend. He hasn’t been on the active roster for MSU’s first three games.
MSU drops out of rankings
MSU dropped out of the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches poll for the first time since Oct. 16 of last season.
After its second consecutive 1-2 start, MSU (0-2 in the Southeastern Conference) received eight points in the week three version of the coaches poll released Sunday afternoon.
Two weeks ago, MSU earned its highest ranking (No. 16) since being ranked No. 17 in the second week of the 2001 season.
Five Southeastern Conference teams (LSU, the University of Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Florida) are ranked in this week’s Associated Press poll. That number is tied with the Big 12 Conference for the most of any league in the country.
The Bulldogs also fell out of the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, which is used in the formula to crown the Bowl Championship Series national champion.
After a 10-7 win at the University of Florida last October, MSU remained in the poll until finishing with a No. 15 ranking.
MSU-Georgia game to played on Fox Sports Net
MSU’s road game next week at the University of Georgia will start at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net.
The last time Mississippi State won in Athens, Ga., is 1956.
MSU officials are planning for a “black out” promotion for the team’s game Saturday’s game against Louisiana Tech. Fans are encouraged to wear a black T-shirt to the game.