College Football News Preview 2020: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

College Football News Preview 2020: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mississippi State

College Football News Preview 2020: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Mississippi State Bulldogs season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Schedule Analysis
– Mississippi State Previews 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2019 Record: 6-7 overall, 3-5 in SEC
Head Coach: Mike Leach, 1st year, 0-0
2019 CFN Final Opinion Ranking: 60
2019 CFN Final Season Formula Ranking: 56
2019 CFN Preview Ranking: 19

No one knows what’s going to happen to the 2020 college football season. We’ll take a general look at where each team stands – doing it without spring ball to go by – while crossing our fingers that we’ll all have some well-deserved fun this fall. Hoping you and yours are safe and healthy.

5. College Football News Preview 2020: Mississippi State Bulldogs Offense 3 Things To Know

Okay, SEC, get ready for what’s coming. Mississippi State is going to throw, and it’ll keep throwing, and then it’ll throw a little more.

When Leach took over Washington State in 2012, the team was awful, but it finished ninth in the nation in passing. It finished fourth in 2013, and was No. 1 in four of the next six years, was second in one of the off seasons, and third in the other.

The system worked when he was an offensive coordinator at Kentucky and then Oklahoma, it worked at Texas Tech, and then at Washington State. But without a spring practice to tune up, it might be a bit rocky for a while. It also doesn’t help to have the likely starting quarterback around.


CFN in 60 Video: Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview


It’s not a rock-solid lock that Stanford transfer KJ Costello will take over the starting quarterback job right away, but be stunned if he’s not only the No. 1 guy, but also a national star. It’s a fluid situation considering Costello had to graduate from Stanford first before joining on, and other options want a shot at getting to run the high-octane attack.

Keytaon Thompson transferred to Virginia and Logan Burnett left for TCU, but leading passer Garrett Shrader is back after throwing for just 1,170 yards and eight scores with five interceptions – he was second on the team with 587 rushing yards and six touchdowns – and Jalen Mayden is still around, but it’ll almost certainly be Costello throwing it. Now the team needs the guys who can catch it.

The system makes the receivers, but the receivers are there to make the system work, even if they’re not experienced. Leading yardage receiver Osirus Mitchell is back, and then it’ll be all up to the new parts with four of the top five targets from last year gone. JUCO transfers Caleb Ducking and Malik Heath will get a shot at time early on, and Alabama transfer Tyrell Shavers has the upside to be a star right away.

Where does Kylin Hill fit into the mix? One of the nation’s best running backs put off the NFL for a year after running for 1,350 yards and ten scores, and he caught 18 passes with a touchdown.

Like Logan Marchi at Washington State, Hill should be a do-it-all back with a whole lot more passes coming his way. Redshirt freshman Lee Witherspoon is the likely No. 2, but Leach’s offenses usually utilize just one back.

Last year’s like was 13th in the SEC and 93rd in the nation in sacks allowed – that’s about to change. The front five loses Tyre Phillips at one tackle and Darryl Williams at center, and the whole group has to tweak what it does. Charles Cross is a former great recruit who should be fine in place of Phillips, but it’ll take the rest of the offseason to lock in on a center.

NEXT: College Football News Preview 2020: Mississippi State Bulldogs Defense 3 Things To Know

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