Mississippi State called off Saturday’s Maroon and White spring game after junior safety Jonathan Abram laid a blow to Bennie Braswell’s head that left the running back struggling to even stand. Head coach Dan Mullen first ejected Abram and then cancelled the remainder of the game, according to WCBI-TV, giving the White team the 21-10 victory.
The play came in the latter half of the scrimmage when Braswell fumbled a pitch on an option play—Logan Burnett had Braswell on the outside and rookie tight end Dontea Jones cutting up the middle for a shovel pass. After Burnett’s pass went high and hit off Braswell’s facemask, the senior ducked his head in an attempt to scoop the ball and continue upfield; rather than lower his pads or avoid the unknowing Braswell altogether, Abram finished the play coming downhill at full speed, laying his shoulder squarely into the top of Braswell’s head. Braswell had to be helped off the field after laying on the turf for several minutes.
Mullen did not comment on the hit during his on-field Q&A after the game, and it does not seem like he was asked about it by any press members. After praising freshman corner Cameron Dantzler, who had two interceptions in the scrimmage, Mullen offered the following thoughts on his desired style of defense, per SECCountry:
“You know the defense I want to play here — guys flying to the football as hard as they can. Trying to go make plays and playing an aggressive style of defense.”