Mississippi St Bulldogs 2021 College Football Preview
Record – 4-7
ATS – 5-6
The Bulldogs started the year by SHOCKING the WORLD and dismantling defending champ LSU in impressive fashion (W 44-34) but not much else went right the rest of the way. They only won a single other game (Vanderbilt) until the regular season finale when they took down Missouri. It was good to see them show up and take down a scrappy Tulsa squad in the Armed Forces Bowl so momentum is on their side heading into 2021. Let’s go!
Mississippi St Bulldogs 2021 Outlook
QB KJ Costello couldn’t stop throwing interceptions after the opening week win over LSU but the THROW GAME looked a lot better under QB Will Rogers (11-7 TD to INT) who’ll almost certainly be the starting QB for the 2021 opener. Of course you never know with the PIRATE as your head coach and note that they added Southern Miss veteran QB Jack Abraham via the transfer portal. It’s a given that the WR group will deliver in this offense and they bring back #1 WR Jaden Walley (718, 13.8, 2 TD). They’ll need to start stretching the defense as they averaged a mere 5.9/attempt LY (2nd last SEC). The run game is an afterthought but they return their top-two RBs including Jo’Quavious Marks who led the team with an impossible 60 (!) receptions in 2020. Three big boys are back up front and they’ve gotta do a better job in pass pro (2nd last SEC sacks allowed per game LY).
Twas a very inexperienced stop unit LY but they didn’t perform horribly allowing 28 PPG (#6 SEC) and just 126 YPG on the ground (#4). They also bagged a respectable 25 sacks. Eight of their nine top-tacklers are back for duty but they’ll need to replace leading tackler and star LB Erroll Thompson who’s off to the NFL (Falcons). There are some things to like on defense including a pair of excellent LBs in Aaron Brule (#2 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 10 QBH) and Tyrus Wheat (5 sacks). The DL is held together by 310-pound NT Jaden Crumedy and they add a nice piece in DT Randy Charlton from UCF. The secondary has a nice mix of veterans and young doods like CB Emmanuel Forbes (2nd team SEC). This could be a sneaky-good defense.
This is an above-average group given the return of PK Brandon Ruiz (10/12 FG LY) and KR Lideatrick Griffin (37.3).
Overall – The out-of-conference slate isn’t too bad and the September 11th date with NC State is very intriguing. They get a yuuuuge break with the draw from the SEC East (Vols, Cats) and get their final two games at home.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Memphis (September 18th)
Memphis still looks decent and the Bulldogs have an SEC date with LSU on deck.
Season Win Total
Per 5Dimes August 11
Over 6 -120
Under 6 +100
They can play with anyone in the SEC other than Georgia and Alabama. Then again, they gave Georgia a game in 2020.
HC Mike Leach has a very impressive 88-32 career record at home (.765).
It’s obviously too much to ask to win the division but this team looks poised to take a step forward and could finish as high as third in the NASTY SEC West. It’ll be a frustrating ride at times for fans but things are looking up in Starkville.
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