Mississippi State vs. Southern Miss Game Preview


Nov 23, 2013; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles fans show their support during the first quarter of their game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time. Just two days from the opening kickoff of the 2014 Mississippi State season. Every Thursday this fall will put out a preview to look at the match-up. First up is Southern Miss…

MSU is 0-6 all time in August. Dan Mullen is 6-0 vs. Conference USA. Something’s gotta give.

Mississippi State is a 30.5 point favorite.

16 starters return – eight on offense and eight on defense. USM improved their passing attack a good bit last year but their rushing fell off the map at only 73 YPG. So as a team they did not tally 1,000 yards on the ground last year. That’s about as bad as it gets.

They’ll have three offensive lineman returning, and one of the new guys (Norman Price) is a juco who was committed to MSU before flipping on juco signing day. Will this group be able to pave the way for a running game or pass protect for QB Nick Mullens against State’s nasty D-line? That is doubtful but we’ll just have to play the game.

2013 stats:

MSU rushing offense: 189 YPG (43rd) vs. USM rushing defense: 225 YPG (115th)

MSU passing offense: 245 YPG (54th) vs. USM passing defense: 211 YPG (25th)

USM rushing offense: 73 YPG (123rd) vs. MSU rushing defense: 144 YPG (38th)

USM passing offense: 243 YPG (55th) vs. MSU passing offense: 205 YPG (22nd)

The bulletin board material USM is giving MSU doesn’t seem too smart. That might be something better served for 2015 when they’re a little better and the game is in Hattiesburg. Nevertheless, the Dawgs should have complete focus for this one..

  • it’s the first game of the year
  • tons of excitement and energy with the newly expanded stadium opening
  • USM has been talking smack
  • the first SEC game isn’t until Week 4

This game has beat-down written all over it. Mississippi State will have to show up, and quite possibly survive a first quarter charge from the Golden Eagles, but this game should not be a four-quarter affair.


"We’re really fired up to get this season going right now. We’re finishing on the high notes that we had last year with a lot of guys coming back. We have a lot of experience. I know (the players) are ready to get back out onto the field and play again and see what we can do.“Guys have been working since last January so almost nine months of putting in work for this time of year for 12 games and hopefully up to 15 games. All that work goes into this time of year. The anticipation and build up to finally go get the reward that you get after putting in all that hard work in the off-season. We’re fired up and ready to go."