Installment number five takes us to Clanga-clang.
Coach: Dan Mullen (61–42 in eight seasons at MSU; 29-35 in SEC)
2016 record: 6-7 (3-5 in SEC, T-5th in West Division)
CB969 2016 Prediction: 8-5 "...Despite the loss of the greatest Bulldogs quarterback ever, sophomore Nick Fitzgerald should be a serviceable field general. The defense projects eight starting seniors but depth is a serious issue....”
Looking back: The Bullies inexplicably started out the 2016 campaign with a home loss to South Alabama and lumbered their way to a disappointing 5-7 record. The only respite was that they won the Egg Bowl - and that is all that matters in StarkVegas! They still made a bowl game despite the record because there were no other FBS teams with 6-6 or better records.
Returning starters: 7 on offense, 5 on defense, punter.
Key losses: RT Justin Senior (Round 6, Seahawks), MLB Richie Brown, DE Johnathan Calvin, WR Fred Ross, C Jamaal Clayborn, RB Ashton Shumpert, C Jamaal Clayborn, LG Devon Desper, CB Jamoral Graham (transferred to Jackson State), PK Westin Graves (retired, back surgery).
Top returnees: QB Nick Fitzgerald (they already done gave him the heipsman, y’all), OL Martinas Rankin, Aeris Williams (137-720, 4 TD), WR Donald Gray (41-709, 5 TD), WR Malik Dear (23-264, 2 TD), WR Keith Mixon (19-228, 2 TD), DE Torrey Dale, DE Jeffery Simmons, S Kivon Coman, CB Tolando Cleveland (missed last season with a torn ACL).
Top newcomers: potential starting LB Willie Gay (Starkville, MS), LB Tyler Dunning (Fort Lauderdale, FL), DT Deion Pope (Wesson, MS), DE Chauncey Rivers (juco), DT Noah Elliss (Highlands Ranch, CO), QB Keytaon Thompson (New Orleans, LA), RB Kylin Hill (Columbus, MS), K Tucker Day (Brentwood, TN), DC Todd Grantham.
Names you need to know: Leo Lewis’ name has been circulating the interwebz lately, but not for good reasons. Despite the rumors swirling around his recruitment, he is a pretty darn good LB. And then there is that Nick guy...
Strengths: The addition of Todd Grantham should help shore up the defense that gave up 459.1 ypg (110th in FBS) last season... Another year of seasoning for Fitzgerald, Aeris, and Gray... Martinas Rankin has potential to be a NFL first rounder...
Weaknesses: A brutal three game stretch in September (LSU, UGA, Aub) might derail their season... Need to find a new placekicker... Returning punter Logan Cooke struggled last season with only 40.0 ypp (80th in FBS)... Lost two best OL and now have redshirt freshmen at the tackle spots... All-around lack of depth...
Outlook: Have you heard? MSU has the greatest quarterback of all time. Again! Fitzgerald has big stats but does he run the ball too much? He scored 16 of the team's 24 rushing TDs last season. One hit and MSU is in deep trouble. Specialty teams is a mess and the defense needs to be rebuilt.
Sep 2 vs Charleston Southern 3pm CT SECN - W
Sep 9 @ Louisiana Tech 6:30pm CT CBSSports - W - They should win this if they don’t take LaTech for granted or get caught looking past them to the next week.
Sep 16 vs LSU 6pm CT - L - A winnable game if everything clicks.
Sep 23 @ Georgia - L - Potential for an upset.
Sep 30 @ Auburn - L - Will the Bullies have anything left in the tank?
Oct 7 bye week
Oct 14 vs BYU - W - Another tough game but a week off and home field advantage might help. They could very easily lose this game.
Oct 21 vs Kentucky - W - This is no gimme but lose this one and things will go south.
Oct 28 @ Texas A&M - L - I may be in the minority here.
Nov 4 vs UMass - W
Nov 11 vs Alabama - L
Nov 18 @ Arkansas - W - Could go either way but this is the kind of game Bert loses.
Nov 23 vs Ole Miss 6:30pm CT ESPN - W - Mullen saves his job for another year!
Let's go Bowling! Yes, I’m thinking they end up in Birmingham or the Weedwacker.
It is another typical Mullen team chock full of mediocrity. But as long as he keeps winning the Egg Bowl and making it to bowl games, MSU will always keep a spot for him at the dinner table.
How many regular season wins for Missy State?
This poll is closed
5 or less.