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Predicting the 2018 SEC Football Season: Mississippi State - Clang or Clunk?

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MissiSisyphus rolls that boulder up the hill again.

Alabama v Mississippi State
As goes Nick Fitzgerald, so goes Missy State.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In 2014, Mississippi State put together their third 10-win season in school history. This achievement was due mostly to the play of quarterback Dak Prescott who now holds many school records. The Bullies believe they have a quarterback who can shatter many of those records and grab another double-digit win season. However, they will have to do it with said quarterback recovering from a gruesome ankle injury and without his guru, Dan Mullen.

Coach: Joe Moorhead (38–13 in 4 seasons at FCS Fordham; 0-0 at MSU)

2017 MSU record: 9-4 (4-4 in SEC, Fourth in West Division)

CB969 2017 Prediction: 7-5...Fitzgerald has big stats but does he run the ball too much? ... One hit and MSU is in deep trouble...”

Looking back: The season started strong for Cowbell Nation after stomping LSU to get to 3-0. However, back-to-back road games at UGA and Auburn sent them home with two losses. After regrouping, MSU won four straight before their tenth straight loss to Alabama. A win over Ole Miss plus a bowl opponent would have equaled ten victories but Nick Fitzgerald’s leg got bent in a way that legs are not supposed to be bent and the Rebels got the upset. Defeating Louisville in the Gator Bowl was their consolation prize.

Returning starters: 8 on offense, 8 on defense, kicker.

Key losses: C Martinas Rankin (Round 3, Texans), TE Jordan Thomas (Round 6, Texans), P Logan Cooke (Round 7, Jaguars), LS Hunter Bradley (Round 7, Packers), S J.T. Gray, Dan Mullen.

Top returnees: QB Nick Fitzgerald, DL Jeffrey Simmons, DE/OLB Montez Sweat, RB Aeris Williams, OL Darryl Williams, DE Gerri Green, S Mark McLaurin, WR Jesse Jackson, WR Deddrick Thomas, K Jace Christmann.

Top newcomers: WR Stephen Guidry (juco), WR Devonta Jason, OL Kwatrivous Johnson, DE Jaden Crumedy, ST Coordinator Joey Jones (former Bama WR and South Alabama head coach), Moorhead.

Name you need to know: Montez Sweat might be the next great SEC pass rusher to be drafted in the top 5 of the NFL Draft... Back-up punter and placekicking holder Kody Schexnayder. Any relation, C.J.?

Strengths: Fitzgerald is a talent at quarterback but will he be shell-shocked after his horrific injury?... Strong WR corps... Simmons and Sweat are a force to be reckoned with... Placekicker was Frosh All-SEC... The schedule breaks up nicely...

Weaknesses: Special teams needs retooling... Some holes in the OL and TE... Defensive depth... Moorhead’s inexperience as a P5 head coach... What made Moorhead hire Bob Shoop, formerly of Tennessee, as his Defensive Coordinator???

Outlook: It makes you wonder what Missy State would be if it wasn’t for Nick Saban crushing their dreams every year. That 2014 team was strong and so is this year’s version. They could easily be 9-0 when they arrive in Tuscaloosa in November. If MSU was Sisyphus, Alabama would certainly be the gravity that pulls that boulder back down the hill.

2018 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sept 1 vs Stephen F. Austin State University LLC - W
Sat, Sept 8 @ Kansas State - W - K-State lost three home games last year and at Vandy.
Sat, Sept 15 vs LaLaf - W
Sat, Sept 22 @ Kentucky - W - UK gonna UK.
Sat, Sept 29 vs Florida - W - Dan Mullen returns to StarkVegas! And goes home with an L!
Sat, Oct 6 vs Auburn - L - Could go the other way.
Sat, Oct 13 bye
Sat, Oct 20 @ LSU - L - Winning in BR might be too much to ask of this group.
Sat, Oct 27 vs Texas A&M - W - Home field advantage but they could just as easily screw this one up.
Sat, Nov 3 vs Louisiana Tech - W - I just checked and Terry Bradshaw has no more eligibility left.
Sat, Nov 10 @ Alabama - L - This will make it 11 straight over the Bullies.
Sat, Nov 17 vs Arkansas - W
Thu, Nov 22 @ Ole Miss - W - It’s a short week and you never know what’ll happen in the Egg Bowl but MSU should get their revenge.

Let’s go Bowling! Yes, Maybe Music City or one them thar Flawduh games.

Poll

Regular season wins for MSU:

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    10 or more.
    (221 votes)
  • 28%
    9
    (161 votes)
  • 22%
    8
    (126 votes)
  • 6%
    7
    (36 votes)
  • 0%
    6
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    5 or less.
    (10 votes)
558 votes total Vote Now

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