MSU Fans Hopes For 2009

Meet a cross-section of the Mississippi State fanbase as they share their hopes for the 2009 MSU football team.

Rick Cunningham, 40-years-old, Gulfport, Miss. Rick is a former MSU football manager (1987-92). Rick has been an MSU fan for 25 years.

"I want to see them get the fans back into the stands. I know that (MSU head) Coach (Dan) Mullen is going to get the intensity back onto the football field. And I can't end it without saying that we have to beat the Ole Miss Rebels."

J.C. Patton, 56-years-old, Starkville, Miss. With J.C. is one of his grandkids, Nora Bates, 2-years-old. J.C. has been a Bulldog fan for 50 years.

"I believe we have a good chance to win five games. And I do believe that we will be very competitive in all of our games. I think we will be exciting and have a lot of young people. And I think when people realize how many of these players will be back next year I think there will be even more excitement. I think we have a staff that is enthusiastic, energetic and aggressive and that's the keys."

Craig Russell, 40-years-old, Meridian, Miss. Craig is current MSU freshman QB Tyler Russell's dad. Craig has been a Bulldog fan for about 10 years.

"I just hope we come out and have a good season. It's a new offense and Tyler is real excited. We have some good receivers, so, hopefully, we can turn things around this year."

Boyd Sullivan, 74-years-old, Ethelsville, Alabama. Boyd has been a Bulldog fan for 23 years.

"I hope with the kickers that we have and the players that we have that we will be going to a bowl game. We probably won't go 8 and 4 but I expect to go to a bowl game this year."

Bobby Vanderford, 75-years-old, Eupora, Miss. Bobby has been a Bulldog fan for almost 70 years.

"My realistic hopes for this team is 7 and 5. I think we will win the four non-conference games and I think we will slip up on a few of the conference games."

Brett Holloway, 27-years-old, Memphis, Tenn. Brett has been a Bulldog fan his entire life.

"I would like to see us go .500 and show improvement. I really feel like we will be 4th in the West. I feel like Mullen has brought a lot of energy, effort and enthusiasm to the team."

Jerrod Young, 41-years-old, Madison, Alabama. Jerrod played football at Mississippi State under Rockey Felker. Jerrod has been a Bulldog fan for 25 years.

"My hopes is for us to have an exciting offense and put a lot of points on the board. That is what I am looking forward to. I did a lot of blocking when I was here and I will block all day if I can see the guy passing and putting points on the board."

Dr. John Clay, 64-years-old, Meridian, Miss. With Dr. Clay is his granddaughter Sarah Clay, 4-years-old. Dr. Clay has been a Bulldog fan for 47 years.

"I hope we can present an exciting team and build for the future. We would like to have more wins than losses but we will take what comes in hopes of buidling the program long-term."

Chris Carson, 34-years-old, Corinth, Mississippi. Chris has been a Bulldog fan his entire life.

"I hope for 6 and 6, maybe 8 and 4. I definitely think there is going to be improvement with this team this year."

George M "Frog" James, 53-years-old, Starkville, Miss. With George is his son Jaden James, 7-years-old. George has been a Bulldog fan his entire life.

"I hope we will stick with these young guys while they get things together and make a football team. I think this man who has come in here (Dan Mullen) and his coaching staff can make that. We just have to take it one game at a time."

Joe Rieves, 46-years-old, Hoover, Alabama. With Joe is his nephew Lee Hester. Joe has been a Bulldog fan his entire life.

"I hope we have a winning record, although we have a tough schedule, the fourth toughest schedule in the country. And I hope we go to a bowl game. Obviously, Dan has to get his system in place and get his kids in here. But I do believe with the excitement around the program and Greg (Byrne) leading the athletic program, (Dan) will get it done."

Brian Sims, 50-years-old, Madison, Miss. Brian has been a Bulldog fan for 25 years.

"My hopes are always to go 14 and 0 but my realistic hopes this year is to see some improvement. I want us to go out there and be competitive and wins some football games. I think we are going to have a really good season and win 6 or 7 games and go to a bowl game."

Wade Sims, 20-years-old, Madison, Miss. Wade has been a Bulldog fan for 11 years.

"I hope to see our guys play hard. I hope some of the young guys can come in and play hard. And I really hope that we can win some games this year, too."

Hoot Gipson, 76-years-old, Meridian, Miss. Hoot has been a Bulldog fan for about 63 years.

"I'm just glad that we have a coach like Dan Mullen. And I'm proud of the staff that he has put together and the type recruits that they are going after and in making sure that they get an education. He has got to have several good years of recruiting in order to get the numbers that the SEC requires. We don't quite have the numbers yet as far as the numbers needed to compete on the level that Coach Mullen is going to have us compete on in the future."

Deanna West, 23-years-old, Birmingham, Alabama, Deanna is current MSU OC D.J. Looney's sister. Deanna has been a fan of the Bulldogs for 4 years.

"I hope that we win as many games as we possibly can and that we cream the (Ole Miss) Rebels. I also hope the whole team stay healthy."

Hank Moseley, 82-years-old, Starkville, Miss. Hank is a former MSU football manager (1947-51). His brother-in-law, Buddy Elrod, was the first MSU football All-American. Hank has been a Bulldog fan for 70 years.

"I have high expectations based on what I have heard. I think we are going to have a decent football team that we can all be proud of. I think it will be a little different than any type football that Mississippi State has ever played. We've been known primarily known for smashmouth football in the past but now we are going to be a little bit more deceptive. And I am behind Mullen 100%."

Reggie Hankins, 52-years-old, Columbus, Miss. With Reggie is his wife Fran Hankins. Reggie has been a Bulldog fan for 34 years.

"My hopes are that we will be much improved on the offensive line and that there will be a lot of excitement. I have talked to several players and they are excited. I think that (MSU strength) Coach (Matt) Balis has had a lot to do with what is going on right now. I am looking forward to seeing a wide-opened offense and a solid defense."

Tal Clark, 45-years-old, Germantown, Tenn. Tal has been a Bulldog fan for 35 years.

"Obviously, I want to see a better offensive team than we have seen in a few years. I would like to see us continue to be strong on defense. I feel like we ought to be 2 or 3 games better than we were last year. If we can do that, then we could get six or seven wins as a minimum."

Keith Walker, 37-years-old, Brandon, Miss. Keith has been a Bulldog fan for about 10 years.

"I look for marked improvement. I like the enthusiasm. I was able to come up to Mississippi State when they unveiled the new uniforms. And I was kind of struck that at 1 o'clock in the middle of the week on a college campus that you had people like me come and be so enthusiastic about the new college coach and the new attitude he brought with him."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories