HST Staff Predictions

Can it be September already? I don’t know about you, but I am beyond ready for football season to be here. Between NCAA sanctions and lawsuits, I’m about sick of the off season, and we at Hailstate Takeover have been counting the days till kickoff. Of course, the topic of wins and losses is at the forefront of any discussion. Given that none of us are former players or professional analysts, we may not always know what we’re talking about, but we sure do pretend good. What I’m trying to say is take the following with a grain of salt, and understand that, while based on research and statistics and a little bit of good old-fashioned bias, these predictions are just that, a guess. So here’s how the HST Staff thinks the 2017 season will go for the Bulldogs. Feel free to tell us how wrong we are, we love arguing.

Blake Scott, Editor

Charleston Southern

Blake Scott: First game of the season, MSU favored to win by a lot, where have I heard that before? Last year’s season opener was one of the lowlights of my Bulldog career, and I’ve done my best to forget it happened. Let’s hope that’s not the case for Dan Mullen and company. The Bulldogs need to have the edge and intensity of a team that doesn’t ever want to taste defeat the way they did last year to South Alabama. Add in that Nick Fitzgerald isn’t competing for a starting job, and I think State rolls Charleston Southern by at least thirty in Davis Wade. Bulldogs start the season strong.

Cooper Ashcraft: There isn’t too much to say about this one. CSU is a solid FCS team, but that doesn’t even begin to compare to the big boys in the SEC. Mississippi State should win this one convincingly.

Trey Gullick: The first game of the season will be against Charleston Southern, an FCS team from the Big South Conference. I don’t see this game being any problem for Mississippi State. Charleston Southern is a good FCS team, but they are still an FCS football team. We all know what happened against South Alabama in the first game last season, and for that reason I believe Dan Mullen will make sure to have his team ready to play in this game. State puts up a lot of points and wins this one big.

Preacher Matt: Expect last year’s embarrassing loss to USA to be fresh on the minds of most Bulldogs. They will not allow that to happen again. I am calling for a blowout win for the Dawgs!

Peyton Aldridge: Blowout. Point blank. This is a new Mississippi State team. Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams will account for over 600 total yards and the defense will show just how much a true defensive coordinator makes a difference.

At Louisiana Tech

Blake: In 2008, Louisiana Tech defeated MSU 22-14 in Ruston, LA. It’s the only time the Bulldogs have played in Ruston until now. But the Bulldogs have won the last two meetings (2011 and 2015), and I expect this year’s offense to be powerful enough to make it three in a row against a subpar defense. Skip Holtz has taken La-Tech to three straight bowl victories, and I expect him to compete for a C-USA title again this year, but the Bulldogs of Starkville will leave Louisiana with a victory.

Cooper: This game scares me a little bit. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I despise these types of games. It’s one thing to play Group of 5 teams at home, but it’s a whole other animal playing them at their place. This is like their Super Bowl: if they win this game it makes their season, but if we win people will say “Well that’s a game you should always win.” If we lose, opposing fans will have jokes about it the rest of the season. Mississippi State gains nothing from these types of games. With that said, this will be the first test for Todd Grantham’s defense. La-Tech lost their quarterback from last year, but don’t think that means their offense won’t move the ball. This could very well end up being a shootout in Ruston.

Trey: The second game of the season is against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana. La-Tech went 9-5 last season and played for the Conference USA Championship. Needless to say, Louisiana Tech is a pretty good football team. This could be considered a trap game for State with game being on the road in Ruston, Louisiana and a week before State opens SEC play in a huge home game against LSU. I think this game will be a little too close for comfort in the first half, but in the end, I believe the Bulldogs will pull away in the second half and win this one by double digits.

Preacher: This will be a more difficult test for the maroon and white Bulldogs. Skip Holtz has done a good job with the Bulldogs of La-Tech, taking them to three straight bowl wins and a C-USA championship game. This season they will be breaking in a new quarterback in sophomore J’Mar Smith. If that name sounds familiar, he was a standout at Meridian High School a couple years ago. I feel like Mississippi State will pull this one out, but I expect it to be one of those non-conference games that leaves us fans with a little doubt moving forward. We have at least one of those every season it seems.

Peyton: One of those scary trap games that always makes any State fan nervous. I expect it to be close until about the last six minutes of the first half, when State gets a big score and turnover, helping them run away in the second half. I think Hill gets some big carries in this game in the second half as they rest Aeris for the LSU game.

LSU

Blake: Every year the Bulldogs face the Tigers early in the season in what is tantamount to a separation game for each team. The winner is in fantastic position to challenge for the SEC West crown, and the loser is behind the eight ball almost immediately. This year is no different. Given that State has only won once in this millennium, it seems silly to say the Bulldogs can win this game with any certainty. But I’ve been known to say silly things, and so I’ll continue with that trend. I think MSU has a great chance to win at home against a talented LSU team with a not-so-talented head coach. Nick Fitzgerald will challenge the Tigers’ defense much the same way Dak Prescott did, and with improved passing and a defense that will be clicking three weeks into the season, the Bulldogs can have that same statement win they had in 2014. The key to a win may come down to Mullen versus Orgeron, and I will take Mullen any day. State wins an extremely physical game by a field goal.

Cooper: This is the game that will decide the direction this season goes for the Bulldogs. A win could propel us to a 9 or 10 win season that looks a lot like 2014, while a loss could signal another mediocre 6 or 7 win season. This game will be won in the trenches. If State can slow down Derrius Guice, I feel confident the offense can put up enough points to pull this one out.

Trey: The Bulldogs will open SEC play against the LSU Tigers at home in Starkville in week three. This is one of the most highly anticipated games of the season, and a game I believe Mississippi State can win. LSU has Ed Orgeron as their head coach, Danny Etling as their quarterback and they lost some key players on defense to the NFL draft, so I’m not buying in on LSU being an elite team this season. However, LSU does have loads of talent and Derrius Guice, who is considered by most as the best tailback in the SEC. I believe the Bulldogs will have fixed their problems on defense with the addition of Todd Grantham and an influx of talent, and I believe State will load the box and not allow Guice to beat them. Also, I do not believe Danny Etling will be efficient enough for LSU to keep the defense honest in this game. This will be a tightly contested game, but I believe the Bulldogs pull off the upset and win a close one at home.

Preacher: For the last few seasons, this has been a game Bulldog fans have circled as a huge opportunity to determine the growth of our program. Lately, the games between the Bulldogs and Tigers have been really close, with lots of fireworks in the fourth quarter. I expect this season’s matchup to be much the same, but LSU comes out on top. Derrius Guice will just be too much for the Bulldog D.

Peyton: If we could face LSU three to five weeks later in the season then I think we win this game. I expect it to be tight until the very end, with LSU going up on a State turnover. I think this is a low scoring affair and you see just how good State’s defense could be.

At Georgia

Blake: For Mississippi State to be 3-0 at this point in the season, more than a few things have to go right for the Bulldogs. I think there is a great chance they will, but it all hinges on Fitzgerald’s development as a passer. Given that I’ve predicted it does, I’ll continue in that vein as the Bulldogs travel to Athens to face Georgia. The Bulldogs of Athens are a favorite to win the East, and should be focused in Kirby Smart’s second year. Yes, they have Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returning, but they have a young quarterback in Jacob Eason who struggled with accuracy for much of last season, and State’s offense should be much more balanced than Georgia’s. With MSU riding serious momentum from a win over LSU, I think the Bulldogs get a victory between the hedges to stay undefeated.

Cooper: This is one I feel like we are capable of winning, but don’t know if we will. Athens is a tough place to play, and it doesn’t help that this game is scheduled a week after a physical game against LSU.  I feel like the offense will have to score at least 30 in this one to come away with a victory and I’m just not sure if we can do that at this time in the season.

Trey: The fourth game of the season is against the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. I really like Georgia this season and expect them to win the SEC East. Georgia will have sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason, who started every game for Georgia last year as a true-freshman, and I expect him to make a big jump. They also bring back two of the best tailbacks in the SEC in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, as well as several solid players on defense. I believe the Bulldogs will be coming off a huge victory at home against LSU that will emotionally and physically drain the Bulldogs heading into this game against a very good Georgia team on the road. The balance of Eason, Chubb, and Michel will be too much for the Bulldogs to handle on the road, and Georgia will hand State its first loss.

Preacher: I have gone back and forth on this game. This is without a doubt, in my mind, a true toss up game. And a big one for both teams’ chances to win their division. If forced to choose a winner, I would choose UGA because of the fact the game is being played in Athens.

Peyton: Toughest loss of the season right here. I think we come in a little down and sore from the LSU game and we just don’t play to our standards. I think on pure talent we could win, but it comes down to more than just that. I think we make a run in the 4th quarter but come up just short. Maybe a few surprise players show out in this game though.

At Auburn

Blake: All good things must come to an end, right? After two brutal weeks against physical SEC teams (is there any other kind?), the Bulldogs will invade Jordan-Hare Stadium in a bid to stay undefeated. Auburn will most likely be undefeated and unchallenged up to this point in the season, and that just might be the break MSU needs to defeat the Tigers. It may also be the nail in the coffin as well. Auburn should be well-rested and ready to go against a Bulldogs team that will be beaten up after two tough battles. But if the Dogs can keep it close, they’ll have a chance to steal one from Auburn. Unfortunately, I don’t think that happens, and the Tigers hand MSU their first loss of the season by double digits.

Cooper: I’ve always said that the Auburn game is the biggest game of the year for us. This game always seems to be close (except for last years embarrassing performance), and whoever wins it seems to always have a better season than the other. I expect Auburn to be the second-best team in the West this year and maybe even the second best team in the SEC this year, so it will be tough to go into Jordan-Hare and beat the Tigers, especially coming off a two week stretch against LSU and Georgia. I think we can win this one, I just don’t think we will.

Trey: For the second straight week, MSU has a game on the road against a really physical SEC team. The Auburn Tigers came into Starkville last season and ran up and down the field against the Bulldogs in a very lopsided game that Auburn won. The Tigers have a talented, albeit young, sophomore quarterback Jarrett Stidham and bring back their two leading rushers in Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson. I think this will be another tough game for the Bulldogs on the road against a very physical team. Auburn will be too balanced on offense with Stidham, Pettway, and Johnson, as well as too physical on defense for the Bulldogs. Auburn wins this one at home.

Preacher: Last season saw the Auburn Tigers give MSU a beatdown of epic proportions. It was one of the most frustrating games I have watched in the past several years, as Auburn’s offense just ran the ball down our throat over and over again. It was the Auburn game that made me begin to see that the “Peter Sirmon Experiment” was not going to work. Things are different this year. Most importantly, Sirmon is no longer calling the defense for the Dawgs. Auburn has a transfer quarterback from Baylor that’s been built up to be great, but I’m still not sold. I’m reminded of the buildup of another Tigers QB a few years back that didn’t pan out (Jeremy Johnson). I think this year’s game will be a very close one that’s once again decided in the fourth quarter. In the end, I think the Auburn D will lead to a close win for the Tigers.

Peyton: Huge win right here! I think it starts like the 2014 game, and we just jump on them and never let up on the gas pedal. I think Mixon has a huge game and Nick gets some Heisman love from this game. This win turns the season around right here.

BYU

Blake: Thank goodness for bye weeks, right? State gets a well-deserved rest after the Auburn game, and it should help the Bulldogs rehab and refocus for their matchup against BYU. The Cougars snuck past MSU last year in an overtime battle at LaVell Edwards Stadium, but they have to travel to Starkville this year and that’s a whole different world. Whether it’s Fitzgerald, Todd Grantham’s new and improved defense or 60,000 cowbells, I don’t see the Cougars walking out of Starkville with a win. Mississippi State will be foaming at the mouth for a payback victory, and to stay in the SEC West hunt, and they won’t slip up against BYU.

Cooper: The Bulldogs will get a much needed bye week after going through maybe the toughest three-week stretch in the country, and that should help prepare them for the Cougars of BYU. I personally can’t wait for them to come into Davis Wade this year after what happened last year at their place. BYU is a solid team that can move the football and shouldn’t be overlooked. The Cougars lost their starting backfield from last years team, but replace them with veteran players that know the system, so don’t expect much of a drop off from those two positions.

Trey: The sixth game of the season will be against BYU in a home game for the Bulldogs. This is a game State lost in overtime on the road last season. I see the Bulldogs wanting to get revenge in this game, and this year Mississippi State will be the more talented and physical team. The Bulldogs will be too physical for the Cougars, and Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams will have big days on the ground as State wins at home.

Preacher: In 2016 Mississippi State lost to BYU in overtime in Provo, Utah. This year, I think the Bulldogs enjoy being able to play the Cougars at Davis Wade. BYU lost a ton of production at receiver and will be replacing one of the best RB’s to every play for the cougars in Jamaal Williams. Expect the Bulldogs to put this one away early for a much-needed rebound win after three tough losses.

Peyton: I think we come off the bye week still hot from the Auburn game and put up big numbers. The defense shows out and this game will start getting people’s attention. I feel really good about this one.

Kentucky

Blake: The more I go through this schedule, the more I remember how many times the Bulldogs came up just a little short in 2016. The loss at Kentucky was Mullen’s first against the Wildcats as a head coach, and I think it will be his only one for at least one more year. The Wildcats are not a pushover team, but staying in the vein of righting wrongs, I think the Bulldogs will be itching for a fight . Given that Kentucky is coming into Davis Wade, I think MSU gets a convincing win to improve to 6-1 and place themselves squarely in the division race, and a potential New Year’s Day bowl game.

Cooper: Kentucky is an interesting team for me this year. I feel as if this team has the potential to be very good and win 8 or 9 games, but in the same breath I could see this team missing a bowl game all together. Last year’s Kentucky game was almost as heartbreaking as the South Alabama loss, and I think our guys will remember that and use that for motivation this time around.

Trey: State will get back-to-back home games after the bye as the Kentucky Wildcats come to Davis Wade. The Bulldogs lost this game last season on a last-second field goal in a heartbreaking game for State fans. This will be another revenge game for the Bulldogs, and Dan Mullen will want to make sure he doesn’t lose to the Wildcats for the second time in his tenure. The Bulldogs will have a big game on the ground against a vulnerable Kentucky rush defense and will win this one at home.

Preacher: One thing Dan Mullen has been able to do on a regular basis at MSU is beat Kentucky. The Wildcats pulled off a victory against the Dawgs last season, but I wouldn’t expect Coach Mullen to lose twice in a row to Kentucky. Give the Bulldogs two wins in a row.

Peyton: Another scary game right here, but Dan will not lose two in a row to Kentucky. Aeris will have a huge game, and I think the defense makes enough plays in the end to secure the win and keep State on a hot streak.

At Texas A&M

Blake: Kevin Sumlin is a great coach weeks one through six. After that, he goes on vacation and has a Kevin Sumlin imposter coach the rest of the season. Since this matchup falls during Sumlin’s annual vacation, I have all the confidence in the world that the Bulldogs will pick up a huge victory on the road. In all seriousness, the MSU offense should overwhelm the Aggies rather quickly in this game, and I don’t see A&M’s offense being able to keep pace. Bulldogs improve to 7-1 and start to make noise in the national picture.

Cooper: I have a good feeling about this game. I have the feeling that A&M is in for a down year. With question marks at the quarterback position, a coach on the hot seat and a defense that is never that good, I see a 6 or 7 win team that is looking for a new head coach by the end of the season. While it is never easy to get a win in College Station, I think this is the year the Bulldogs do it.

Trey: The eighth game of the season will be against the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station. I am not high on Texas A&M this season, as a matter of fact, I believe they will finish last in the SEC West and Kevin Sumlin could be on his way out by the time this game comes around. For this reason, I believe this is a winnable game for the Bulldogs. The Bulldog defense will have a good game and State steals a road game in the SEC.

Preacher: Hopefully Kevin Sumlin will continue to do what he does, and that’s struggle late in the season. It’s becoming as reliable as death and taxes at this point. The Aggies have some playmakers and a good defensive coordinator in John Chavis, but they will be replacing too much on offense and along the front of the defense to be a real contender this season. If this game were in Starkville, I would predict a blowout win by the Dawgs, but being at a rowdy Kyle Field will make things tougher. Still, expect a Bulldog victory, just a little closer than it probably should be.

Peyton: This is my “State should have won this game but didn’t in typical State fashion” game of 2017. I think we play flat and can’t adjust to the A&M offense and we lose a heartbreaker. If we were to win this game, then we are up toward the front in the SEC race, but I just don’t see it happening.

University of Massachusetts

Blake: Last year’s shootout was not what I expected headed into the game. This season, I expect a lot of points, just not for the Minutemen. State should be on a big high and playing well, and the only chance of a close game is if the Bulldogs look too far ahead to Alabama.

Cooper: This is another one of those gimme games for MSU. UMass played State tough last year in Foxborough, but this is a different Mississippi State team and the game is being played in Starkville.

Trey: The Bulldogs will come back home for a non-conference game against UMass in what should be an easier week for State. This was a game last season that was a little closer than Bulldog fans would have liked, but one in which the Bulldogs were able to win on the road. I see State being able to put up a lot of points in this one in Starkville. The Bulldogs will have an explosive day on offense and will win this one big at home.

Preacher: UMass gave the Dawgs a scare in Boston last year. This year UMass will be coming to Starkville, where the Minutemen will find a team coming off a big road win and ready for battle. I would expect Todd Grantham to have his defense ready to play. No doubt Mark Whipple’s crew will be ready to play in a big time SEC atmosphere, but the talent of the Dawgs will be too much for UMass to handle. Make that four in a row for State.

Peyton: This will be nowhere near the same as last year. Not even close. I expect a 35-point victory with a bunch of the young guys getting a shot and the starters getting a much needed rest before the Alabama game. I actually love the way this was scheduled.

Alabama

Blake: Alabama is the worst. State will be 8-1 coming into this game, and they will leave with their second loss. As much as I think this MSU team is going to surprise people, they don’t have what it takes to handle Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. The real focal point of this game for me, is how does the offense fare against the best defense in the league? I expect Grantham’s defense to play well, but if State wants any chance to be in this game late, the responsibility falls on Fitz and Aeris Williams.

Cooper: Is this the year that Dan Mullen finally beats Nick Saban and Alabama? The answer is no. Now I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I’ve been down this road too often. There have been a few years in Mullen’s tenure that I thought we had a chance against Bama, and it’s the same story every year. So until we finally break through and beat Bama (similar to how I felt about LSU before 2014), I can’t pick State to finally upend the mighty Crimson Tide.

Trey: The Bulldogs should be ready to face the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide in week eleven. Alabama brings back reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Year Jalen Hurts, a stable full of running backs, a big-play receiver in Calvin Ridley and NFL players on defense such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ronnie Harrison, Da’ron Payne and others. Alabama and Nick Saban have given Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs trouble over the years, and as much as I want to see the trend change, I just don’t see this year being any different. Alabama’s balanced offense will score enough points and the Bulldogs will continue to struggle to score against Nick Saban’s defense in a game Alabama will win relatively easily.

Preacher: Nick Saban is simply put, the best in the business. He has Mullen’s number, and I don’t think this season will be any different. It’s always a very physical fight when the Tide and the Bulldogs meet and this year is no different. Barring a miracle, Saban will still remain unbeaten against Mullen.

Peyton: Another loss to Alabama. But this one will be different. This one won’t be a blowout, but a competetive game till the very last minutes. I expect to hang all the way to the end and give Bama their biggest scare of the season. We will show college football that we are still on the rise and are the second-best team in the west.

At Arkansas

Blake: I have said for years, playing Arkansas and Alabama in a two-week stretch is a federal offense. The Razorbacks are always physical and frustrating, even when their offense is mediocre at best. That’s what I expect in this game. Austin Allen is good, but he has nobody around him to help bear the load. Unless a star emerges during the season for Arkansas, I see the Bulldogs picking up a huge win in Fayetteville. If they can stay focused and avoid major injury against Bama, this should be a relatively easy win for MSU.

Cooper: Arkansas is another interesting team to me this year. They have one of the top returning quarterbacks in the SEC in Austin Allen, but field a putrid defense that I expect to give up 30+ PPG this season. No matter how good an offense you have, you simply aren’t going to win games consistently if you give up that many points. It would not surprise me one bit if Bret Bielema is looking for a new home after this season.

Trey: Like always, Mississippi State goes from one physical team to another, as the Bulldogs travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas to battle the Arkansas Razorbacks. This was a game last year where the Bulldogs put up a lot of offense, but the Bulldog defense had one of the worst defensive performances in school history, giving up 58 points. The Arkansas offense didn’t punt a single time. Arkansas brings back quarterback Austin Allen from last season, but the Razorbacks lost their lead running back due to retirement from football, as well as some of their best offensive linemen and receivers. They also lost several players off an already bad defense and bring in a new defensive coordinator. State will put up a lot of points against a subpar Arkansas defense, and the Bulldog defense will play much, much better than last season. Bulldogs win a big one on the road.

Preacher: Last season’s defensive performance, or lack thereof, by both teams was embarrassing. Neither team seemed to be able to get a stop. Arkansas lost a ton of talent from last year, and I don’t see them being able to score at will against Grantham’s defense they way they did against Sirmon despite having Austin Allen. Bulldogs get a big win over an SEC West opponent and pick up momentum heading into the Egg Bowl.

Peyton: I actually think we beat Arkansas pretty badly in this game. The offense will run up and down the field on the Razorbacks, much like last year, but this game our defense actually makes stops. This is a completely different defense, and it will be clearly evident in this game.

Ole Miss

Blake: If State is 9-2 coming into this game, all the pressure in the world will be squarely on the shoulders of Mullen, Fitzgerald and the Bulldogs. It will take a lot going right and not much going wrong for State this year for that to happen, but that’s what I am unbiasedly predicting (ok, there may be a little bias). With a potential ten-win season on the line not to mention a New Year’s Day bowl, the Bulldogs will have everything to lose going into an Egg Bowl against a team playing only to be a spoiler. By this time, Ole Miss will know what sanctions are coming, so things may be even crazier in Oxford than they already are. But given that this game is in Starkville, and the Bulldogs will be looking to extend the gap between the two West-division rivals, I think Fitzgerald has another monster game and leads the Bulldogs to their second straight blowout Egg Bowl victory.

Cooper: As long as Shea Patterson is the quarterback and Ole Miss continues to field NFL-caliber receivers, the Rebels will continue to put a solid offense on the field, regardless of NCAA sanctions. It’s good that the Rebels have a good offense, because their defense may be the worst I have ever seen (even including ours last year). The Bulldogs ran the ball for 457 yards and Aeris Williams was 9 yards shy of joining Nick Fitzgerald with 200 yards rushing in the same game in Oxford last year. I expect this game to be no different. Mississippi State will torch Ole Miss on the ground all night long to the tune of a big time win.

Trey: The final regular season game will be the Egg Bowl, and this year it’s Thanksgiving night in Starkville. Last year, the Bulldogs were able to win 55-20 in a game where Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams ran wild. With the state of the Ole Miss football program, an interim head coach and a defense I don’t expect to be very good, I think this game could be very similar to the 2016 Egg Bowl. Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams will once again have big games, and the Bulldog defense will be able to get enough stops for State to win the Egg Bowl for the second year in a row.

Preacher: While Ole Miss does have weapons at receiver, they still have no defense and now no head coach. The whole program is a dumpster fire. This will be a big win for the Dawgs headed into bowl season.

Peyton: Blowout. The Rebels’ season will be over before it starts, and this game will just rub more salt in the wound. I don’t ever expect this one to be close, and State closes out the season on a very high note, showing yet again, who big brother really is!

Final Results

Blake Scott:  10-2

Cooper Ashcraft:  9-3

Trey Gullick:  9-3

Preacher Matt:  8-4

Peyton Aldridge: 9-3

 

Hailstate Takeover Composite Record

9-3

The Bulldogs have a terrible schedule this season, as most SEC West teams do, with road trips to Georgia and Louisiana Tech adding some unfamiliarity to 2017. Mississippi State has the potential, if Fitz makes the improvement many of us think he will, to defy the odds and end the season with an impressive nine wins. Once again, national and local media have picked the Bulldogs to finish near the bottom of the SEC. And just like every other year Dan Mullen has been head coach, we think the Bulldogs will surpass those expectations. Is ten wins possible? Yes. Is it likely? Absolutely not. A lot of the success of 2017 lies with Fitzgerald’s play, but perhaps just as much importance can be placed on the defense. Todd Grantham has his work cut out for him, and if he can bring back some of the aggression and attacking mindset of previous Bulldog defenses, then State has a great opportunity to be a dark horse SEC West contender. That’s the beauty of predictions, they can be anything you want. But if State does pull of another magical season behind an unproven dual-threat quarterback and a fiery defense, I’ll make sure to bring this article back up. Until then, tell us what you think here.

Blake Scott, Editor

 

 

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