Previewing Mississippi State

NC State will face Mississippi State in the 2015 Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina. Here is a quick preview of the Bulldogs.

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS
Official Site: LINK
Roster: LINK
Schedule: LINK
Statistics: LINK

Mississippi State finished 8-4 overall this season, losing two of the last three games to Alabama (31-6) and Ole Miss (38-27). 

Here is a quick statistical breakdown of Mississippi State's Offense:

  MISSISSIPPI STATE OFFENSE  
Category Average National Rank
Scoring Offense 42.0 ppg 42nd
Total Offense 451.4 ypg 33rd
Rushing Offense 140.3 103rd
Passing Offense 311.1 16th

The Bulldogs are led by standout senior quarterback Dak Prescott, a finalist for the 2015 Manning Award.  Prescott has accounted for 73 percent of MSU’s total offense and 74.5 percent of its touchdowns. He was the only player in the Southeastern Conference to lead his team in both passing yards (3,413) and rushing yards (541) in the regular season, while breaking his own single-season school marks for completion percentage (66.9 in 2015; 61.6 in 2014) and yards per game (284.4 in 2015; 265.3 in 2014).

Prescott is the fourth player in FBS history and the second in the SEC (Tebow) to throw for 60 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career.

He leads a passing attack that ranks 16th nationally (311.1 yards per game).  Prescott's top target is 6-foot-2 junior wideout Fred Ross, who finished the regular season with 81 grabs for 933 yards and four touchdowns.  He is joined by 6-foot-5 junior De'Runnya Wilson, who caught 55 balls for 822 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns.

Prescott leads the ground attack, as he's totaled 10 touchdowns this season.  The Bulldogs use a committee approach at running back, but with the nation's 103-ranked rus attack it's obvious that they will look to challenge the Wolfpack through the air.

Mississippi State has been led this year by the offense, but the defense is solid.

Here is a quick statistical breakdown of Mississippi State's Defense:

  MISSISSIPPI STATE DEFENSE  
Category Average National Rank
Scoring Defense 22.8 36th
Total Defense 388.4 58th
Rushing Defense 171.6 72nd
Passing Defense 216.8 55th

Defensively, MSU is led by junior linebacker Richie Brown, who leads the team in tackles (101), sacks (5.5), and tackles for a loss (12.5).  Junior defensive lineman A.J. Jeffereson is the team's tackles for a loss leader (13.5) and is second in sacks (5.0).

The secondary features junior Kivon Covan, who has totaled 72 tackles, six pass breakups, and seven passes defended.


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