Mississippi State Football: Bulldogs Host Commodores for Homecoming

Mississippi State football fans are ready for homecoming against Vanderbilt

The Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-4) host the Vanderbilt Commodores (0-5) on Saturday for Homecoming. The Bulldogs last played the Commodores during the run to #1 in 2014. The Bulldogs shutout Vanderbilt 51-0 that night.

Oh, what a great feeling if the Mississippi State offense could repeat the feat on Saturday. The Bulldogs are a 19 point favorite to get their second win of the season.

Could a winless Vanderbilt Commodore team be the cure-all for what has ailed the Bulldog offense in four straight games?

Mississippi State will also wear the throwback Flying M uniform for Homecoming this year. Defeating Vanderbilt and scoring a lot of points would certainly have the Bulldog faithful in a celebratory mood.

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I will also give my prediction on who I think will win and speak on what Mississippi State needs to do to secure their second win of the season.

The Bulldog Offense Needs to Set Sail

Mississippi State needs to have a fast start against a reeling Vanderbilt defense. The Commodores are giving up over thirty-eight points a game. The Bulldogs’ last four opponents have used a copycat strategy of rushing three and dropping eight into coverage to keep the Bulldog offense docked in the harbor.

It would be wise for Derek Mason to follow the same strategy. Mississippi State has not played a more inviting defense than Vanderbilt. If the Bulldogs want to win this game, the offense needs to set sail hard and fast.

Mike Leach also has to determine who will start at quarterback. Senior KJ Costello was injured in the Alabama game, and he looked out of it as trainers tended to him. If Costello cannot go, the door would be open for Will Rogers to start as a Bulldog on Homecoming.

Rogers has outperformed Costello when he has relieved him. If Costello is healthy, I expect Leach to roll with him. I am on record for benching Costello and starting the true freshman. The future should be now and what night for a freshman to earn his first start on Homecoming.

Another wish I need to be granted is for Mississippi State to establish the run. The Bulldogs are averaging a woeful thirty yards a game. If I felt Coach Leach would run the ball, it would definitely impact my prediction.

The Bulldog Defense Needs to Give No Quarter

The Mississippi State defense is one of the best groups in the SEC. What they don’t need is a defensive breakdown against Vanderbilt. The defense should make it very hard for Vanderbilt to put up many points.

The Bulldogs should want to exact some revenge after shellacking by Alabama last week. Vanderbilt only averages eleven points a game, so on paper, this matchup favors the Bulldogs. Mississippi State has the edge in overall talent, but the execution of the scheme by the players plays a very important part in who claims victory.

My Prediction

I have to admit I actually struggled with my prediction. The Bulldog fan in me wants to scream, we are going to crush Vandy. The fear of another ineffective offensive performance against a team like the Commodores concerns me.

As much as it would hurt me to pick against Mississippi State, I won’t. While I feel like Mason will employ the same defensive strategy that has kept the Bulldog offense from repeating its Week 1 success.

The Bulldogs have a defense that will keelhaul the Commodore offense. Finally, I feel that the offense will finally climb out of Davey Jones’ Locker and score some points. Bulldogs for the Homecoming WIN!

Vanderbilt Commodores
14
Mississippi State Bulldogs
31