ScoutNow: State Expects Successful Start

The Bulldogs would prefer kicking off a season of great expectations at home. But a road trip to Southern Mississippi, first since 1989, still sets Mississippi State up for a strong start to Dan Mullen's seventh season in Starkville.

Mississippi State will look to Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Dak Prescott, a deep collection of talented play-makers, and what should be an oustanding Bulldog defense to take care of opening-night business. Kickoff in Roberts Stadium is 9:00, which delays the seaon a few hours longer but should not slow State's start to a season of great expectations.

Nobody on either sideline reasonably predicts a repeat of last year's 49-0 rout in Starkville. The Golden Eagles must be an improved ball club in Coach Todd Monken's third season. But Mullen and Mississippi State will be completely satisfied to leave Hattiesburg with the first win of the season and a still-healty squad to prepare for next weekend. That's when rival Louisiana State comes to Scott Field for an early-season SEC West showdown with playoff implications.

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