As Mississippi State kicks off the season Saturday evening, the Bulldogs aren’t as focused on fancy game plan as basic ball. The matchup with Southern Mississippi (9:00ct, FS1) will be decided at the point of contact.
This puts the first-game focus on a re-stocked Dog defensive line, led by rising star tackle Chris Jones and steady senior end Ryan Brown. They will square-off against a Golden Eagle offensive line which has struggled for three seasons. Now that group lists both two seniors and two juniors, and expectations are stronger in 2015.
All week Mullen and his coordinators have stressed, forget last year’s 49-0 runaway at Scott Field. Remember that to open a new season the basics are best. So if this Bulldog defensive front dominates at the line of scrimmage and shuts down the Eagle ground game, chances for a successful start to a high-expectation season are that much greater.