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Monday, August 29, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Preview: Mississippi State Bulldogs

College Football is just around the corner with the first games scheduled on September 1st. So with that in mind, we here at the figured it was about time to rev up the college football machine and review some local team in our area. With our expanded roster, we now can cover teams from all over the nation but we will start with our home teams. Each week leading up to the season we will have capsules on the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, and Tennessee State University. We will follow those teams with some of the national powers as well, just to make sure we cover all of our bases.

To start things off, we will ask just a few basic questions on each team as: Offense, Defense, what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses, who will be their impact players and what do you project as their season outlook just to name a few. We love college athletics here at the Sportaholic and this just one of many college football posts we have awaiting our viewers this season. So sit back and relax as we here at the Sportaholic preview some of your favorite teams from all over the nation
Mississippi State University Bulldogs
By Taylor Cannon
Well it’s about time MSU football excitement is back. Dan Mullen has brought excitement back to the Magnolia State after completing a 9-4 record (key wins over Georgia, Florida, and Michigan in the Gator Bowl). State is also about to embark on a 100 million dollar expansion to Davis Wade Stadium and a football complex costing 20-25 million, which is breaking ground in a few months. Dan Mullen has to be feeling kind of good about this year’s team returning 8 starters on offense and 7 on the D. Having a more experienced quarterback in Chris Relf and more experienced receiving corps with Junior Chad Bumphis and Junior Arceto Clark (who combined for 996 yards receiving) they also have a talented back in Vick Ballard who rushed for a school record for touchdowns in a season with 19.

Offense - They return 8 starters. If Relf can be solid and consistent as well as if their offense line can hold up, this can be a wide open offense. The combination of Reif and Ballard has the chance of being one of the better QB/RB duos in the country. This team can run and catch. They just need to be dependable.

Defense - On defense they return 7 starters with 4 coming at the secondary position. But the big question is the loss of all three starting Linebackers and Defensive Coordinator in Manny Diaz bolted for the University of Texas, which leaves them wondering how the defense will do in the hands of new coordinator in Chris Wilson. The Defensive line
will also have its challenges, but Defensive Tackles Fletcher Cox and Josh Boyd look promising.

Strengths - State’s strength is definitely the offense. A veteran secondary and a strong interior line will also be key in State’s return to dominance.

Impact players - QB Chris Relf, RB Vick Bullard, WR Chad Bumphis, LB Brandon Wilson, DT Fetcher Cox, S Nickoe Whitley, DE Sean Ferguson

Weaknesses - The loss of Manny Diaz to Texas hurt, also having to replace 3 starting LBs and losing an end could give State fits early in the season. The offense lost its starting center and left tackle could prevent State’s offense from getting to its full potential.

Season prediction – State won’t be sneaking up on anybody this year, but will be in back to back bowls (first time since 98-99). The excitement will be high and the cow bells will be ringing , they may not be in a New Year’s Day bowl, but I smell Peach or Music City bowl. MSU record 9-3 (5-3 in the SEC).

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