MSU-SC Football Game: Previewing The Stars

Previewing this weekend's Mississippi State at South Carolina football game.


In this article, which I will be doing weekly for the rest of the season, I will preview the upcoming game between Mississippi State and South Carolina by combining the Scout.com star rankings and classification (Fr, So, Jr or Sr) of the starters for both teams. To come up with a point total for each player, I will combine the points for both a player's signing day star ranking as well as for his current classification.

A player with a 5-star ranking will be given 5 points, a player with a 4-star ranking receives 4 points, etc. A player with a NR ranking will receive 1 point. Next, I will determine a player's classification points based on his current classification, i.e., if he's a freshman he receives 1 point, if a sophomore 2 points, etc. I will then add a player's classification points to his star ranking points and come up with a final total for him. Once I've done that for all of the starters, I will combine their points and add 7 points to the home team for a home field advantage and come up with a team total. The team with the most points is the one that I predict will win the game.

The starters listed below are based on what each school lists on their pre-game notes.

Quarterbacks:

Mississippi State (5 pts) - Sophomore Dak Prescott was ranked a three-star out of high school. His point total is 5, 2 for being a sophomore and 3 for his star total in high school. In 7 games this season, Dak has thrown for 1,158 yards while throwing 5 TDs. He has rushed for 490 yards while rushing for 8 TDs.

South Carolina (7 pts) - Senior Connor Shaw was rated a 3-star prospect in high school. His point total is 7. Shaw has passed for 1,508 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 389 yards and 3 TDs.

Running Backs:

Mississippi State (7 pts) - Senior LaDarius Perkins was rated a 3-star when he signed with Mississippi State. His point total is 7. While dealing with injuries most of this season, Perkins has still rushed for 338 yards in 6 games.

South Carolina (9 pts):

  • Sophomore tailback Mike Davis was a 4-star recruit as a senior in high school. His point total is 6. So far this season he has rushed for 930 yards and 10 TDs. He has also caught 27 passes for 300 yards.
  • Junior fullback Connor McLaurin, a junior, was not rated in high school. His point total is 3. He is used as a blocking fullback. So far this season he has not had a carry.

    Tight Ends:

    Mississippi State (5 pts) - Malcolm Johnson is a junior who was ranked a 2-star as a senior in high school. His total points are 5. Malcolm has caught 14 passes for 191 yards and 1 TD this season.

    South Carolina (6 pts) - Junior Rory Anderson was a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 6. He has recorded 13 receptions for 161 yards.

    Wide Receivers:

    Mississippi State (17 pts):

  • Sophomore Joe Morrow was ranked 4 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 6. This season, he has caught 14 passes for 161 yards.
  • Junior Jameon Lewis was rated a 2-star in high school. His point total is 5. For the season, Lewis has caught 30 passes for 446 yards and 4 TDs.
  • Robert Johnson, a junior, was rated 3 stars as a senior in high school. His total points are 6. Johnson is second on the team with 16 receptions for 209 yards.

    South Carolina (12 pts):

  • Junior Damiere Byrd was a 4-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. He has 23 catches for 460 yards and 3 TDs.
  • Junior Bruce Ellington was rated a 2-star as a senior in high school. His point total is 5. He has caught 31 passes for 468 yards and 5 touchdowns.

    Offensive Linemen:

    Mississippi State (28 pts):

  • Junior left tackle Blaine Clausell was a 2-star recruit. His point total is 5.
  • Senior left guard Gabe Jackson was rated a 3-star player. His point total is 7.
  • Junior center Dillon Day was rated a 2-star player as a senior in high school. His point total is 5.
  • Junior right guard Ben Beckwith was not rated by Scout.com as a senior. His point total is 4.
  • Senior right tackle Charles Siddoway was rated a 3-star as a junior college sophomore. His point total is 7.

    South Carolina (30 pts):

  • Junior left tackle Corey Robinson was a 2-star recruit in high school. His point total is 5.
  • Junior left guard A.J. Cann was rated a 4-star recruit as a senior in high school. His point total is 7.
  • Freshman center Clayton Stadnik was a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 4.
  • Senior right guard Ronald Patrick was a 3-star prospect in high school. His point total is 7.
  • Sophomore right tackle Brandon Shell was a 5-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7.


    Defensive Linemen:

    Mississippi State (27 pts):

  • Junior defensive end Preston Smith was rated a 2-star recruit in high school. His point total is 5. This season, he has recorded 23 tackles with 2 sacks.
  • Junior defensive tackle P.J. Jones was rated 3 stars as a senior. His point total is 6. He has a total of 12 tackles this season.
  • Junior defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls earned a 4-star as a high school senior. His point total is 7. Eulls has 11 tackles this season.
  • Senior defensive end Denico Autry is the highest rated player on the MSU D-line with a 5-star as a sophomore at EMCC. His point total is 9. Autry has 15 tackles, including 1 sack.

    South Carolina (29 pts):

  • Senior defensive end Chaz Sutton was a 4-star recruit in prep school. His point total is 8. He has recorded 22 tackles, including 2 sacks, this season.
  • Junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt was rated 3 stars in high school. His point total is 6. He has 25 tackles this season.
  • Junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles was a 4-star recruit in prep school. His point total is 7. He has 25 tackles, including 7 sacks this season.
  • Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was a 5-star recruit and the No. 1 ranked defensive in high school. His point total is 8. He has 24 tackles, 2 sacks and 7 quarterback hurries this season.

    Linebackers:

    Mississippi State (18 pts):

  • Matthew Wells is a junior who was rated a 4-star in high school. His point total is 7. Wells has recorded 22 tackles this year.
  • Sophomore Benardrick McKinney was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 4. McKinney leads the team with 46 tackles this season.
  • Senior Deontae Skinner was rated a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. Skinner is second on the team with 45 tackles.

    South Carolina (15 pts):

  • Freshman T.J. Holloman was ranked 3 stars in high school. His point total is 4. He has 31 tackles this season.
  • Sophomore Marcquis Roberts was a 3-star prospect in high school. His point total is 5. He has recorded 35 tackles this season.
  • Sharrod Golightly, a junior, was rated a 3-star recruit as a senior in high school. His point total is 6. He has 31 tackles so far this season.

    Defensive Backs:

    Mississippi State (20 pts):

  • Junior cornerback Jamerson Love was rated a 2-star in high school. His point total is 5. Love has recorded 17 tackles. He has broken up 3 passes and intercepted 1 pass.
  • Sophomore strong safety Kendrick Market was also rated 2 stars in high school. His point total is 4. Market is third on the team with 30 tackles.
  • Senior free safety Nickoe Whitley was rated a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. Whitley has recorded 3 interceptions this season. He also has 28 tackles.
  • Sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 4. Taveze has 24 tackles this season, which is 5th on the team.

    South Carolina (22 pts):

  • Junior cornerback Victor Hampton was a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 6. He has 21 tackles and 2 interceptions this season.
  • Junior strong safety Brison Williams was a 3-star prospect in high school. His point total is 6. He has recorded 29 tackles.
  • Freshman free safety Chaz Elder was a 3-star recruit as a senior in high school. His point total is 4. He has 15 tackles this season.
  • Senior cornerback Jimmy Legree was ranked 2 stars in high school. His point total is 6. He has 34 tackles and 2 interceptions.P>

    Kickers/Punters/Kick Returners/Punt Returners:

    Because these players are only in a few plays each game, I will divide their point total in half and add that amount to the final team total.

    Mississippi State (10.5 pts):

  • Kicker Devon Bell, a sophomore, was rated 3 stars in high school. His point total is 5. Bell has had 39 kickoffs with 19 touchbacks. He has made 5 of 11 field goals.
  • Senior punter Baker Swedenberg was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 6. Baker has punted 18 times for a 43.7 yards per punt average.
  • Kick returner Jameon Lewis, a junior, was rated a 2-star prospect in high school. His point total is 5. Lewis has returned 12 kickoffs for a 24.7 per yard average.
  • Jameon Lewis is also the MSU punt returner. Once again, his point total is 5. Jameon has returned 8 punts for 1 yard.

    South Carolina (6 pts):

  • Freshman kicker Elliott Fry was not rated in high school. His point total is 1. He has made 8 of 10 field goals this season.
  • Junior punter Tyler Hull was not rated out of community college. His point total is 3. He has punted 26 times for a 38.2 average.
  • Freshman kick returner Pharoh Cooper was rated 3 stars out of high school. His point total is 4. He has returned 5 kicks for 100 yards.
  • Pharoh Cooper also returns punts. His point total is 4. He has returned 7 punts for 42 yards.


    Mississippi State has a total of 137.5 points, 62 on offense, 65 on defense and 10.5 on special teams. Of that total, 63.5 are the team's star amount. The other 74 comes from the players classification. If you are wondering, MSU has 3 four-stars and 1 five-star starting.

    South Carolina has 64 points on offense, 66 points on defense and 6 points for special teams for a total of 136 points. Add in 7 points for the home field advantage and they have a total of 143 points, which is 5.5 points more than Mississippi State. Of South Carolina's total points, 75 are from the players star ratings. South Carolina has 5 four-star starters and 2 five-star starters.

    Winner: South Carolina


    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


  • Gene's Page Top Stories