2002 SEC Football Preview- Mississippi State

VandyMania takes a look at the 2002 Mississippi State football team and makes a prediction on how they'll finish.

COACHING

Head Coach: Jackie Sherrill (Career Rec: 175-101-4)
Offensive Coordinator: Sparky Woods
Defensive Coordinator: Joe Lee Dunn

2001 Record: 3-8 overall (2-6 SEC)

2001 SEC/NCAA STATS RANKINGS

Total Offense: 11th / 93rd (343.5)
Rushing Offense: 10th / 79th (128.6)
Passing Offense: 8th / 62nd (214.9)
Scoring Offense: 12th / 108th (17.8)
Total Defense:7th / 59th (371.5)
Rushing Defense: 9th / 64th (156.9)
Pass Efficiency Defense: 10th / 87th (132.3)
Scoring Defense: 9th / 65th (26.2)

2002 SCHEDULE

Mississippi State defensive end Mario Haggan had 95 tackles, 12 tackles for losses, four sacks and two fumble recoveries during the 2001 season. Haggan was named to the Second Team All-SEC squad. (AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)

Aug. 31 at Oregon
Sept. 14 JACKSONVILLE STATE
Sept. 19 AUBURN
Sept. 28 at LSU
Oct. 5 at South Carolina
Oct. 12 TROY STATE
Oct. 19 at Memphis
Nov. 2 KENTUCKY
Nov. 9 at Alabama
Nov. 16 TENNESSEE
Nov. 23 ARKANSAS
Nov. 28 at Ole Miss

STARTERS RETURNING

Offense (8):

SE Terrell Grindle (5-10, 191, Sr.)
TE Donald Lee (6-4, 248, Sr.)
LT Derrick Thompson (6-6, 294, Jr.)
C Blake Jones (6-2, 291, Jr.)
FL Justin Jenkins (6-1, 214, Jr.)
OG Donald Tucker (6-4, 332, Jr.)
FB Justin Griffith (5-11, 231, Sr.)*
FB Darnell Jones (5-11, 247, So.)

Defense (7):

*LE Mario Haggan (6-3, 253, Sr.)
NG Kahlil Nash (6-4, 281, Sr.)
RT Tommy Kelly (6-6, 306, Jr.)
LB T.J. Mawhinney (6-1, 235, Jr.)
LCB Demetric Wright (5-10, 170, Sr.)
*FS Josh Morgan (6-1, 199, Sr.)
RCB Korey Banks (5-11, 175, Sr.)

* All-Star Candidates

Mississippi State Roster

TEAM STRENGTHS

Linebacker, defensive line.

TEAM QUESTION MARKS

Offensive Line, defensive secondary.

KEY GAME

HEAD COACHES COMMENTS

"A question lot of people ask is why in the world schedule Oregon. One for exposure. Two gonna be on national TV. Three play Oregon at home next year on national TV again. Our football team has a great mixture of young guys, older guys and very good leaders. "

"I like this football team. We're a faster team, have more skill players in receivers, running backs, linebackers and defensive backs. We had the best spring and off-season. At end of summer workouts, we have our players do what they call Olympics ... The attitude is very good, good senior leadership."

VandyMania Projection

Mississippi State had a down year in 2001, finishing with only three wins. Despite this they were in every game except for the Florida and LSU games. With 15 starters back expect the 2002 edition of the Bulldogs to be back to their old form. 6-8 wins and a 4th place or better finish in the SEC West is very likely.


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