MSU-Ole Miss: Previewing The Stars

Mississippi State plays Ole Miss this Thursday. This is my preview of the game based on the star rankings of the starters for both teams.


In this article I will preview the upcoming game between Mississippi State and Ole Miss 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 (3 pts) - Freshman Damian Williams is tentatively listed as MSU's starter for the Egg Bowl. He was a 2-star recruit coming out of high school. His point total is 3. He has played in 4 games, starting none. He has completed 14 of 27 passes for 186 yards. He hasn't thrown for a TD. He has also rushed for 72 yards on 21 carries, scoring 1 TD.

Ole Miss (6 pts) - Junior Bo Wallace was rated a 3-star coming out of East Mississippi Community College. His point total is 6. He has thrown for 2,908 yards and 17 TDs, while completing 235 passes in 365 attempts. He has also rushed for 238 yards and 4 TDs.

Running Backs:

Mississippi State (7 pts) - Senior LaDarius Perkins was rated a 3-star prospect when he signed with Mississippi State. His point total is 7. He has rushed for 490 yards and 2 TDs on 112 carries.

Ole Miss (7 pts): - Senior Jeff Scott was rated a 3-star recruit. His point total is 7. He has rushed for 493 yards and 2 TDs in a season plagued by injuries.

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 26 passes for 341 yards and 1 TD this season.

Ole Miss (6 pts) - Junior Nicholas Parker was a 3-star prospect. His point total is 6. He has two receptions for 11 yards and 1 TD.

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 18 passes for 211 yards and 1 TD.
  • Junior Jameon Lewis was rated a 2-star in high school. His point total is 5. For the season, Lewis has caught 49 passes for 635 yards and 5 TDs. He has also rushed for 3 TDs and passed for 3 more.
  • 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 31 receptions for 361 yards.

    Ole Miss (20 pts):

  • Junior Donte Moncrief was a 4-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. He has 50 receptions for 801 yards and 5 TDs.
  • Freshman Laquon Treadwell was a 5-star prospect coming out of high school. His point total is 6. He has caught 58 passes for 500 yards and 5 touchdowns.
  • Senior Ja-Mes Logan was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 7. He has 40 pass receptions for 532 yards and 3 TDs.

    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.

    Ole Miss (30 pts):

  • Freshman left tackle Laremy Tunsil was a 5-star prospect in high school. His point total is 6.
  • Senior left guard Jared Duke was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 7.
  • Senior center Evan Swindall was a 2-star prospect. His point total is 6.
  • Sophomore right guard Justin Bell was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 5.
  • Senior right tackle Pierce Burton was ranked as a 2-star prospect. His point total is 6.


    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 36 tackles with 2.5 sacks.
  • Junior defensive tackle P.J. Jones was rated 3 stars as a senior. His point total is 6. He has a total of 22 tackles this season.
  • Junior defensive tackle Kaleb Eulls earned a 4-star as a high school senior. His point total is 7. Eulls has 21 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 26 tackles, including 1 sack. He also has 6 quarterback hurries.

    Ole Miss (24 pts):

  • Junior defensive end Bryon Bennett was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 6. He has 10 tackles this season.
  • Freshman defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche was a 5-star recruit in high school. His point total is 6. He has recorded 26 tackles, including 1 sack.
  • Sophomore nose tackle Woodrow Hamilton was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 5. Hamilton has 25 tackles. And like Nikemdiche he has 1 sack.
  • Senior defensive end Cameron Whigham was a 3-star prospect. His point total is 7. Whigham is the leading tackles on the line, recording 30 tackles, including 2.5 sacks.

    Linebackers:

    Mississippi State (16 pts):

  • Matthew Wells is a junior who was rated a 4-star in high school. His point total is 7. Wells has recorded 42 tackles this year, 5th on the team.
  • Sophomore Benardrick McKinney was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 4. McKinney leads the team with 61 tackles this season. He also has 2.5 sacks.
  • Freshman Beniquez Brown was rated a 4-star recruit in high school. His point total is 5. Brown has 35 tackles.

    Ole Miss (19 pts):

  • Junior Serderius Bryant was a 3-star recruit. His point total is 6. Bryant is the second leading tackler on the team with 63 stops. He also leads Ole Miss with 3 sacks.
  • Senior Mike Marry was rated a 3-star prospect. His total point value is 7. Marry has 43 tackles, which is 5th on the team.
  • Freshman Tony Conner was a 5-star prospect in high school. His point total is 6. Conner has 55 tackles, which is 4 on the team.

    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 23 tackles, broken up 5 passes and intercepted 3 passes.
  • 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 51 tackles.
  • Senior free safety Nickoe Whitley was rated a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. Whitley has recorded 4 interceptions this season. He also has 50 tackles.
  • Sophomore cornerback Taveze Calhoun was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 4. Taveze has 32 tackles this season and has also broken up 3 passes while intercepting 3 more.

    Ole Miss (23 pts):

  • Junior cornerback Senquez Golson was rated a 4-star recruit in high school. His point total is 7. He has 32 tackles this season.
  • Sophomore strong safety (called a rover in Ole Miss' scheme) Trae Elston was rated a 3-star prospect. His point total is 5. He has recorded 56 tackles, third on the team.
  • Junior free safety Cody Prewitt was rated a 3-star recruit in high school. His point total is 6. He leads the team in tackles with 66. He also has 5 interceptions and 6 pass breakups.
  • Sophomore cornerback Mike Hilton was rated a 3-star prospect when he signed with Ole Miss. His point total is 5. He has 41 tackles for the season.


    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 (9 pts):

  • Kicker Evan Sobiesk, a redshirted freshman, was not rated in high school. His point total is 2. He has made 2 of 4 field goal attempts.
  • Senior punter Baker Swedenburg was rated 2 stars as a senior in high school. His point total is 6. He has punted 25 times for a 42.5 average.
  • Kick returner Jameon Lewis, a junior, was rated a 2-star prospect in high school. His point total is 5. He has returned 18 kickoffs for a 23.3 per return average.
  • Jameon Lewis is also the MSU punt returner. Once again, his point total is 5. He has returned 16 punts for a 1.5 per return average.

    Ole MIss (12.5 pts):

  • Kicker Andrew Ritter, a senior, was rated a 3-star in high school. His point total is 7. He has made 14 of 19 field goal attempts.
  • Punter Tyler Campbell, also a senior, was a 2-star recruit. His point total is 6. He has punted 38 times for a 45.2 average.
  • Kicker returner Jaylen Walton, a sophomore, was rated 3 stars. His point total is 5. He has returned 19 kicks for a 21.9 per return average.
  • Punt returner Jeff Scott, a senior, was rated as a 3-star prospect. His point total is 7. He has returned 7 punts for 12.7 yards per return.


    Mississippi State has a total of 132 points, 60 on offense, 63 on defense and 9 on special teams. Of that total, 63.5 are the team's star amount. The other 68.5 comes from the players classification. Add in 7 points for the home field advantage and they have a total of 139 points. MSU has a total of 4 four-stars and 1 five-star starting.

    Ole Miss has a total of 147.5 points, 69 on offense, 66 on defense and 12.5 on special teams. Of that total, 79.5 are the team's star amount. The other 58 comes from their players classification.

    Winner: Ole Miss wins with 147.5 points, which is 8.5 more points than Mississippi State.


    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.


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