Auburn Opponent Preview: MSU Bulldogs

Mississippi State will be counting on a large number of new starters for the 2015 football season.

Dak Prescott (above) is one of the top returning players in college football this season.

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of previews of Auburn’s 2015 football opponents.

After Auburn’s trip to LSU for the SEC opener comes a visit from Coach Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. With just seven combined returning starters from the 2014 offense and defense, Mississippi State looks to be entering a rebuilding year.

Quarterback Dak Prescott decided to return for his senior season with the intention of at least repeating the success that last season’s team enjoyed. However, only three other starters return on offense. Luckily for Prescott one of the players coming back is MSU’s leading receiver De’Runnya Wilson, who amassed 680 yards and nine touchdowns on 47 receptions.

Prescott finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting last year after throwing for 3,449 yards with 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He rushed for 986 yards and 14 touchdowns.

The defense lost plenty, including coordinator Geoff Collins, who exited to Florida. The group’s strength last year was the front seven, which ranked 25th in rushing yards allowed per game.

Although the team is without impactful players like Benardrick McKinney, Kaleb Eulls and Preston Smith, former five-star recruit Chris Jones will be expected to lead a rebuilt group hoping to continue the production on the defensive line. He made 26 tackles last season as a sophomore and intercepted three passes.

By the fourth week of the season the Tigers and Bulldogs will have better ideas of what to expect going forward into the second month of their schedules. With a challenging trip to College Station looming for MSU the following week, Mullen’s group will need to get a win either at Auburn or at LSU two weeks prior or the losses could begin to snowball.

Top Offensive Player: Senior quarterback Dak Prescott

Top Defensive Player: Junior defensive tackle Chris Jones

Quick Fact: Mississippi State was 125th nationally in passing yards allowed per game last year (285.2). The only schools that finished below the Bulldogs in this statistic were Bowling Green, Washington State and California.

2014 Results: 10-3 (6-2 SEC)

2015 Schedule:

Sept. 5--Mississippi State at Southern Miss
Sept. 12­--LSU at Mississippi State
Sept. 19--Northwestern State at Mississippi State
Sept. 26--Mississippi State at Auburn, TBA
Oct. 3--Mississippi State at Texas A&M
Oct. 10--Troy at Mississippi State
Oct. 17--Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
Oct. 24--Kentucky at Mississippi State
Nov. 5--Mississippi State at Missouri
Nov. 14--Alabama at Mississippi State
Nov. 21--Mississippi State at Arkansas
Nov. 28--Ole Miss at Mississippi State

LSU Game Preview

Jacksonville State Game Preview

Auburn vs. Louisville Preview

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