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SageBow

[2020] SEC Network Season Preview: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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Mississippi State Bulldogs

2019 Record: (9-3) (5-2)
Conference Finish: 3rd in the SEC West

 

Key Losses:

RB Terrence Rodgers 6-0 173 (Sr) Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Wesson, MS) 5.0 of 5.0 [Speed]

WR James Richardson 6-0 156 (Sr) Jemison (Jemison, AL) 4.5 of 4.5 [Speed]

TE Patrick Glass 6-6 203 Sr Hinds CC (Raymond, MS) 5.0 of 5.0 [Receiving]

OT Conor Crane 6-6 303 Sr Enterprise-Ozark Community College (Enterprise, AL) 4.5 of 4.5 [Pass Blocking]

DE Tyler Jones 6-1 257 Sr Oxford College of Emory University (Oxford, GA) 5.0 of 5.0 [Contain]

DT Corey Johnson 6-4 317 (Sr) Sheffield (Memphis, TN) 4.0 of 4.0 [1-Gap]

P Erik May 6-4 178 Sr Godby (Tallahassee FL) 4.0 of 4.0 [Power]

 

Key Returners:

QB Ryder Shipman 6-3 199 (Jr) Pope John Paul II (Boca Raton, FL) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pocket]

FB James O'Connell 6-1 254 (Sr) Moss Point (Moss Point MS) 4.0 of 4.0 [Run Blocking]

WR Ryan Childs 5-11 150 (So) Enterprise (Brookhaven, MS) 4.0 of 5.0 [Speed]

TE Frank Cuellar 6-4 205 (So) Russell County (Seale, AL) 3.5 of 4.0 [Receiving]

OG Junie Wilson 6-3 266 Jr Meridian Community College (Meridian MS) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

ATH Devin Ruff 6-1 233 (So) Paxon (Jacksonville, FL) 3.5 of 5.0 [Mike]

ILB Jalen Britt 6-1 232 (Fr) North Central (Kershaw, SC) 2.5 of 5.0 [Will]

OLB Brady Christiansen 6-0 249 Sr Copiah-Lincoln CC (Wesson, MS) 5.0 of 5.0 [Coverage]

FS Alfredo Herrera 5-10 183 (Sr) Irwin County (Ocilla GA) 4.5 of 4.5 [Zone Coverage]

SS Maxwell Winslow 6-2 172 (Sr) Brentwood Academy (Brentwood TN) 4.0 of 4.0 [Zone Coverage]

 

Strengths

Safety Pair - Herrera and Winslow combine to be one of the most experienced safety pairs in the SEC. Two redshirt seniors with professional football aspirations anchor the backline of this defense easily. I'd be surprised if they get beat with speed deep. The two surehanded tacklers should be able to help the best part of their defense...

 

Linebackers - ... which is their linebackers! Brady Christiansen plays like a potential first round pick. Devin Ruff was a tackling machine in his freshman year and Jalen Britt looks to make a big impact on the field as a freshman. It's going to be tough to run or pass on this Bulldog defense.

 

Weaknesses

Inconsistent Passing Attack - Ryan Childs is an elite level talent, but can Ryder Shipman consistently get him and the other targets the ball? Shipman had a solid year last season, but the Bulldogs are going to need him to play better if they want to make noise in the SEC.

 

Pressuring the Quarterback - 2019 #1 overall selection Tyler Jones is gone, as is stud defensive tackle Corey Johnson. Just who on this Bulldogs defense is going to get pressure on the likes of guys like Elias Allen-Hollis, Marcus Black, and the other star passers in the SEC? Xavier McGill looks to be the man, but without the star power of Jones across the line from him can he supply enough pressure?

 

Season Expectations
Mississippi State fans know just how much talent they lost last year, and expect a small set back. 6-6 is acceptable, 8-4 is the dream. CLANGA

 

Season Prediction
Best case scenario: 10-2. The young bulldogs play up to their potential, winning every game but Florida State and LSU.


Worst case scenario: Honestly, 0-12 could happen. The Bulldogs are very young, so these two scenarios are extremely polarizing.

 

Realistic prediction: 7-5, losses to LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida State. Tough games against Air Force and Boston College, but I think the Bulldogs can pull out wins for the rest of their season.

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