Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-3) at Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (3-9)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 5, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Southern Mississippi + 23.5 -- Over/Under: 55.5
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will face off at M. M. Roberts Stadium to kick off their 2015 seasons.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs stumbled late in the season losing three of their last four games last year, but still had an outstanding season that saw them #1 in the polls for five weeks. Head Coach Dan Mullen will have its work cut out for him this season as the Bulldogs only return 7 starters, but the good news is that they do have a Heisman candidate in quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott is a duel threat quarterback who finished 2014 with a 61.6 comp %, 3449 yds and 27 TD while gaining 986 rushing yds and 14 rushing TD’s. Mississippi State lost RB Josh Robinson (1203 yds, 11 TD, 6.3 ypc) and three starters off a strong offensive line. Coach Mullen will be hoping that Ashton Shumpert (274 yds, 2 TD, 5.8 ypc) and WR De’Runnya Wilson (680 yds, 9 TD’s) will be able to provide some decent weapons for Prescott. On the defensive end, Mississippi State is only returning three starters and will look like a much different unit that allowed just 22.2 ppg in SEC play last year. Leading the way for the defense will be DT Chris Jones and DB Will Redmond. Mississippi State will probably not have the success as they did in 2014 as they just don’t have the talent to keep up in the SEC West however, with Dak Prescott at QB, they certainly have the chance to get 6 wins this season and get into another bowl game.
The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles have struggled since 2011 and although they finished the 2014 season with a 3-9 record (1-7 C-USA) things are looking up for Head Coach Todd Monken as they are turning 15 starters this season including 10 on the offensive side of the ball. Leading the way for the Golden Eagles offense will be QB Nick Mullens (59.7 comp %, 2470 yds, 12 TD and 9 INT) and WR’s Michael Thomas (592 yds, 5 TD) and Casey Martin (531 yds, 2 TD). Southern Miss averaged just 21.1 ppg in conference play last season but this number is expected to improve this season if Nick Mullens can continue to show improvement. On the defensive side of the ball, the Golden Eagles finished the 2014 season giving up 35.5 ppg which ranked 2nd worst in the conference behind WKU. The Golden Eagles lost one of the better DT’s in the conference in Rakeem Nunez-Roches who went off to the NFL and will need rely on DL Dylan Bradley and Cornell Armstrong (C-USA 2014 All-Freshman Team) an their attempt to improve a struggling defensive unit.
The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Golden eagles are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games.
Mississippi State destroyed Southern Mississippi last year 49-0 at home and although Southern Miss should be a bitter better on the offensive end this year they still have some major question marks on the defensive side of the ball. Mississippi State might be projected to be at the bottom of the SEC West this season, but they are still a very good football team with a Heisman candidate and shouldn’t have any problem covering this large spread on the road. Take Mississippi State to cover.