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Mississippi St. Bulldogs 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Predictions – (SEC) – Bulldogs

There may not be a tougher SEC team to predict this season than the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs closed out last year with a 7-6 record, with a 3-5 record versus in-conference foes. The record also included two narrow OT wins against Arkansas and rival Ole Miss near the end of the campaign.

SEC 2014-15 College Football Previews:
Head Coach: Dan Mullen
2013 Record: 7-6
Mississippi State Gambling Odds to win 2014 BCS Championship: 150/1
Futures from sportsbook.ag

Considering a smaller program like Mississippi State plays in the continuous knife-fight that is the SEC West division, scratching out eight or nine wins is definitely a successful season. Some foundational pieces are in place, so perhaps the Bulldogs can look to improve this time around.

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Last year, the Bulldogs beat Bowling Green by a single point; Kentucky by six points; with OT wins versus Arkansas and Ole Miss each by a touchdown. That means MSU was really close to having a miserable campaign in 2013.

However, a couple of key positions look far more settled this season than last. Let’s check out the strengths and weaknesses of the 2014 Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Team Strengths

There is optimism around Starkville this year, and it centers around MSU’s offense. The Bulldogs have one of the SEC’s premier QBs in junior Dak Prescott. He’s a dual-threat in the classic sense of the term; he’s the conference’s active leaders in rushing TDs for a quarterback (17), and he’s second in the SEC in rush yards by an active QB with 947.

Prescott needs to hone his passing ability, but the confident junior can clearly make plays in the nation’s elite football conference. Prescott also has some veterans to throw the ball to with senior WRs Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis and junior Joe Morrow. Also keep an eye on sophomore De’Runnya Wilson.

Things are also looking peachy on the other side of the ball. State returns eight defensive lineman who played in at least 10 games last season and this isn’t counting sophomore DT Chris Jones, a five-star prospect with pro size (6″5, 310).
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The linebackers are in great shape with Benardrick McKinney and Matthew Wells. Both upperclassmen should lead the defense and rack up plenty of tackles. There’s also lots of good CBs, but the star of the unit is junior Taveze Calhoun.

Team Weaknesses

Special teams was absolute crap for the Bulldogs last year and that must change. Mississippi State’s 47.6% accuracy rate for field goals ranked 120th in the nation in ’13. Last year’s kicker Devon Bell is now being asked to focus solely on punting. The newcomer, sophomore Evan Sobiesk, doesn’t alleviate all concerns as he only made 3-of-6 attempts last season.

Wide receiver Lewis hopes to at least shake things up and make some noise in the return game.

It also should be noted that MSU must replace three starters on the offensive line. Guard Gabe Jackson was MSU’s best player last year, and he’ll go on to make a difference at the next level. Someone needs to step up and fill his shoes; Bulldogs brass aren’t confident they have an answer yet.

2014-15 Mississippi State Football Prediction: 8-4

The Bulldogs should be better than last year, but as much as Prescott can freelance, the offensive line must congeal if MSU is to maximize his ability.

Fans in Starkville are understandably excited because of the QB situation and a strong-looking defense. Yet, the Bulldogs still play a gauntlet of a schedule that includes road games to LSU, Alabama and in-state nemesis Ole Miss. Mississippi State also draw Auburn, Texas A&M and a potential slip-up non-conference game versus Southern Miss.

The Bulldogs can definitely compete and should improve, but nine wins would maybe be too much to ask in the murderous conference Mississippi State finds itself in.

2014 MSU Bulldogs Schedule

  • 8/30/14 SOUTHERN MISS
  • 9/6/14 UAB
  • 9/13/14 @ S. ALABAMA
  • 9/20/14 @ LSU
  • 10/4/14 TEX. A&M
  • 10/11/14 AUBURN
  • 10/25/14 @ KENTUCKY
  • 11/1/14 ARKANSAS
  • 11/8/14 TENN-MARTIN (FCS)
  • 11/15/14 @ ‘BAMA
  • 11/22/14 VANDY
  • 11/29/14 @ OLE MISS (Egg Bowl)

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