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Predicting the 2019 SEC Football Season: Mississippi State

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Different Bulldogs Coach, Same Clanga Clang Team.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Wild blind dart-throwing predictions travels down Highway 82 to StarkVegas.

Coach: Joe Moorhead (8-5, SEC 4–4, beginning his second season)

2018 record: 8-5 (4-4 in SEC, 4th in the West Division)

CB969 2018 Prediction: 9-3; “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.”

Looking back: MSU was the model of inconsistency in 2018. After cakewalking through their non-conference schedule, including a 31-10 thumping at K-State, they lost their two East crossovers (UK and Fla), but upset Auburn and Texas A&M. A flat loss to Iowa in Outback Bowl left a bad tastes in their fans’ mouths.

Returning starters: 7 on offense, 3 on defense, punter, kicker.

Key losses: DT Jeffery Simmons (Round 1, Titans), EDGE Montez Sweat (Round 1, Redskins), S Johnathan Abram (Round 1, Raiders), C Elgton Jenkins (Round 2, Packers), EDGE Gerri Green (Round 6, Colts), S Jamal Peters, QB Nick Fitzgerald, G Shaq Calhoun, RB Aeris Williams, S Mark McLaurin, KR Keith Mixon (transfer portal), P Corliss Waitman (USA transfer, waiver for a sixth year of eligibility denied), RB Coach Charles Huff (to Alabama), DL Coach Brian Baker (to Alabama), OC Luke Getsy (to the Green Bay Packers).

Top returnees: LB Erroll Thompson, C Darryl Williams, DB Cameron Dantzler, DL Chauncey Rivers, RB Kylin Hill, QB Keytaon Thompson, WR Osirus Mitchell, WR Stephen Guidry, LB Willie Gay, PK Jace Christmann.

Top newcomers: QB Tommy Stevens (Penn State transfer), OL Charles Cross (Laurel, MS), DT Nathan Pickering (Seminary, MS), DB Fred Peters (Ellisville, MS), ATH Jarrian Jones (Brandon, MS), RB Kareem Walker (juco),

Name you need to know: QB Tommy Stevens played for Moorhead for two seasons at Penn State and knows his system.

Strengths: Offense should be more balanced with NickyFitz (95th in passing yards) gone... Return top three wide receivers (not that Fitz ever passed to them)... Running back Kylin Hill has potential for a breakout season... Veteran offensive line... Punter and kicker are back... Soft OOC schedule...

Weaknesses: Moorhead did not name an OC, prefers to call the plays himself... Replacing top four DL and most of the secondary... Only three returning starters on defense... Lack of defensive depth... Lost three vital coaches after one season... Still waiting for the quarterback battle between Keytaon Thompson and Stevens to be decided... Playing in the SEC West...

Outlook: Several members of the national press are pretty high on this team despite a decimated defense and still no decision on who will be under center. An 8-5 inaugural season for Moorhead looks pretty on paper, but many contributors from last year’s team has departed. HOWEVER in StarkVegas, all a coach needs to do is win most of his games, get to a bowl, and beat Ole Miss more times than they beat you. Such is life of MSU football.

2019 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Aug 31 vs UL-Laf - W
Sat, Sep 7 vs Southern Miss - W
Sat, Sep 14 vs Kansas State - W
Sat, Sep 21 vs Kentucky - W - Don’t get cocky, Bully.
Sat, Sep 28 @ Auburn - L
Sat, Oct 5 - bye
Sat, Oct 12 @ Tennessee - L - This could be a toss-up, so take the home team.
Sat, Oct 19 vs LSU - L
Sat, Oct 26 @ Texas A&M - L
Sat, Nov 2 @ Arkansas - W - This could be a treacherous one for Bully.
Sat, Nov 9 - bye
Sat, Nov 16 vs Alabama - L
Sat, Nov 23 vs Abilene Christian - W
Thu, Nov 28 vs Ole Miss - W

It’s hard to get a read on this team. They could beat Tennessee and perhaps give Auburn or TAMU a scare. On the flipside, they could easily lose to Kentucky or Ole Miss. 7-5 sounds about right.

Let’s go Bowling! Yes, third tier.

Poll

Poll

Regular season wins for MSU in 2019:

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    5 or less.
    (17 votes)
  • 17%
    6
    (77 votes)
  • 37%
    7
    (163 votes)
  • 31%
    8
    (136 votes)
  • 9%
    9 or more.
    (39 votes)
432 votes total Vote Now

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