The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
No. 26: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 21
Mississippi State Bulldogs Spring Status
It’s asking a lot for the Bulldogs to do a whole lot more than what Dan Mullen was able to create over the last few years, but he’s a Gator now, and the program has to roll on.
Joe Moorhead, though, might take what’s already in place and warp speed it to another level – at least offensively.
He’s had experience as a successful head coach, and took the Penn State offense to another level as the offensive coordinator. Now he gets to take over a team with two great quarterbacks, some great receivers and experienced offensive line.
The defensive front has the potential to be fantastic, and the back seven should be okay. As long as Moorhead’s O is doing what it’s supposed to, all will be fine with the world.
Mississippi State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Defensive back. Finding a new left tackle to take over for Martinas Rankin is a must, but the biggest issue is replacing J.T. Gray, who came up with 65 tackles with a pick six and eight broken up passes. Leading tackler Mark McLaurin is back, and Brandon Bryant is a factor, but Gray and corners Lashard Durr and Tolando Cleveland are done.
Mississippi State Biggest Issue
The passing offense has to come back. That shouldn’t be a problem under Moorhead. Nick Fitzgerald might have come up with a nice year before getting hurt, but he only completed 56% of his passes for 1,782 yards. Last in the SEC in passing, that will change in a hurry, because …
Mississippi State Biggest Positive
Quarterback. Fitzgerald might not be 100% back to form quite yet after suffering his broken leg vs. Ole Miss, but he’s running again and should be good to go by the start of the season. Meanwhile, Keytaon Thompson proved in the bowl win over Louisville that he’s a good one to build around. Either way, the Bulldogs are more than okay.
Really, Why Are The Mississippi State Bulldogs Ranked Here?
They’re going to be really, really good. If Fitzgerald is back to 2016 form, they’re going to be really, really great.
Mullen did a great job of bringing in the right parts, and now Moorhead should take them and shine. Expect more of a running game than usual, and watch out for the receiving corps to be more dangerous.
And yes, there’s a good chance MSU has a better season than Florida.