Mississippi State Bulldogs: CFN College Football Preview 2021

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State Bulldogs: CFN College Football Preview 2021

2021 Preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs: CFN College Football Preview 2021

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College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Mississippi State season with what you need to know.


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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Mississippi State Schedule Analysis
– Mississippi State Bulldogs Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2020 Record: 4-7 overall, 3-7 in SEC
Head Coach: Mike Leach, 2nd year, 4-7 (143-97 overall)
2020 CFN Final Ranking: 38
2020 CFN Preview Ranking: 24
2019 CFN Final Ranking: 56

Mississippi State Bulldogs College Football Preview 2021: Offense

That opener sure was fun. The Mike Leach offense roared for 623 passing yards in the win over LSU, QB KJ Costello seemed like he was about to be the next big thing and then …

That was about it.

The O couldn’t move the ball, the ground game was among the worst in college football, the offense averaged just 240 yards per game with no downfield passing attack whatsoever, and the turnovers came in bunches.

To be fair, it was an overhaul of an offensive system that requires the utmost timing and rhythm, and there wasn’t a whole lot of time to get it all together in the pandemic year.

This offseason there was a whole lot of movement in the transfer portal, and a whole lot of jobs are still up for grabs, but the starting 11 should be much, much stronger …

After fall camp.

Step One is to lock down the quarterback situation. Leach is never afraid to go outside the box a bit when it comes to the right passer for his system, but he has to settle on one.

When all is said and done, sophomore Will Rogers will likely be the guy after taking over for an ineffective Costello and throwing for close to 2,000 yards with 11 touchdowns with seven picks. However, Southern Miss transfer Jack Abraham is getting every opportunity to win the gig.

The Bulldogs lost a slew of receivers to the transfer portal, but most of the main ones return. Three of the top four wideouts are back, and there’s plenty of help coming in from the portal.

Jaden Walley stepped up as a true freshman and led the wide receivers with 52 grabs and was one of the few targets who made things happen down the field. 6-3 veterans Malik Heath and Austin Williams have a year in the system under their belts – they have the upside to do more than just be midrange targets.

Normally, when the Leach offense is humming, there aren’t a lot of sacks allowed – it’s going too fast and too well to give pass rushers time to operate. Last year was a bit rocky, but the O line has enough good parts returning to expect a bit more, starting with Charles Cross at left tackle.

No, the running backs weren’t required to do too much on the ground, but leading rusher Jo’quavious Marks had a nice freshman season. He came up with a team-high 60 receptions, and No. 2 man Dillon Johnson can catch, too, along with a bit more power for the ground game.

– What You Need To Know: Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Mississippi State Schedule Analysis

NEXT: Mississippi State Bulldogs College Football Preview 2021: Defense

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