Preview 2019: Mississippi State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Mississippi State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Mississippi State

Preview 2019: Mississippi State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MISSISSIPPI STATE DEFENSE

Who led the SEC in total defense, run defense, scoring defense, sacks, tackles for loss, pass defense, takeaways? The Bulldogs shared a few of those honors with a few other SECers, but they were amazing defensively and now have to find seven new starters to keep all the fun going. It starts with a rebuilding defensive front that loses all the starters including Jefferey Simmons and Montez Sweat. But …

There’s still talent up front. There might not be another Simmons or Sweat – at least until star DT recruit Nathan Pickering is ready – but Lee Autry is a good-looking option to take over for Simmons on the inside, and the outside isn’t all that bad. Kobe Jones is back after doing a decent job in the rotation, and the combination of 265-pound Fletcher Adams and 275-pound Chauncey Rivers bring more bulk to the other side than Sweat did.

There might be a ton of lost parts to the defensive puzzle, but they’re not at linebacker. Errol Thompson was second on the team with 87 tackles. He’s a thumper on the inside, and Leo Lewis and Willie Gay are good-sized veterans on the outside. There’s even a little bit of depth, too.

– Safety Jonathan Abram is the biggest missing piece in the secondary, and losing running mate Mark McLaurin hurts, too. If he’s healthy, 6-2, 210-pound senior Brian Cole can be one of the team’s leading tacklers at one spot – he missed most of last year hurt – and senior Jaquarius Landrews is back after making 21 stops. Cameron Dantzler is an All-SEC-caliber talent returning to one corner job after coming up with 43 tackles with two picks and nine broken up passes.

NEXT: Top Players, Keys To the Season, What Will Happen

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