Preview of Mississippi State

Auburn goes to Starkville Saturday for a date with the 1-0 Mississippi State Bulldogs, who are coming off a 56-9 thrashing of outmanned cupcake, Jackson State.  In fact, Jackson State is typical of the Dogs’ out of conference opponents as heavyweights; Troy, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee State all wait for their turn in MoreCowbellville.

MSU posted a 7-6 slate in 2011 with an offense that averaged just over 25 points a game and a defense that gave up just under 20.  They return 8 starters on offense and seven on defense. Dan Mullen’s bunch is led by 6’4” 220 pound QB, Tyler Russell, who took over at midseason in 2011 for Chris Relf.  Russell was 69-129 for 1,034 yards with 8 TD’s and 4 INT’s last season.

Not a lot of experience returns at running back as 5’9” 190 Ladarius Perkins and his 422 yards in 2011 leads the way.  The wide receivers do in fact bring back several guys with numerous starts under their belt, including senior Chad Bumphis, who comes back for his 17th season.  Gabe Jackson anchors a relatively inexperienced offensive line, having now made 27 starts in his career.  On the other side of the ball, 6’3” 300 pound senior, Josh Boyd, returns at tackle while the linebackers and defensive backs boast a wealth of experience and senior leadership.  Cameron Lawrence and Deonte Skinner bring over 120 tackles with them from 2011 from their linebacker positions.

Both the kicker and punter return; however, there is no word on the status of the all important long snapper position.

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