Mississippi State Bulldogs Football Team 2019 Preview: Odds and Predictions

2018 Season in Review

The Bulldogs had an up and down season in 2018, as their 28.5 points per game offense went through feasts and famines. The Nick Fitzgerald-led attack was capable of going off for 40+ points against lesser opponents such as Louisiana Tech and Arkansas. MSU, however, struggled against stronger competition, especially on the road in games against Kentucky (28-7) and LSU (19-3), where they failed to reach double digits in scoring.

Low scoring losses to Florida (13-6) and Alabama (24-0) were additional examples of how the Bulldogs failed to compliment the second ranked defense in the nation. Coach Moorhead would finish his first season in Starkville with an 8-4 record, before falling to Iowa in the Outback Bowl.

Key Returning Players (2018 Stats)

  • RB Kylin Hill (Junior) – 734 Rush Yards | 8 Total TD | 6.3 YPC
  • WR Osirus Mitchell (Redshirt Junior) – 26 Receptions | 427 Rec Yards | 4 Rec TD
  • MLB Erroll Thompson (Redshirt Junior) – 87 Total Tackles | 10.0 TFL | 4.0 Sacks
  • S Cameron Dantzler (Redshirt Junior) – 43 Total Tackles | 2 INT | 9 Pass Def

Mississippi State’s offense should show some more consistency with the return of their top three receivers in Stephen Guidry, Deddrick Thomas, and Osirus Mitchell. The offensive line will be an experienced group which includes fifth year seniors Tyre Phillips and Darryl Williams. The team’s top running back, Kylin Hill should lead the team in carries out of the backfield, with Nick Gibson serving as a change of pace back. The biggest question in Starkville is who takes over at quarterback, whether it is junior Keytaon Thompson or Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens.

The defense returns a handful of key personnel, which could be enough to maintain their status as a top unit in the country. Erroll Thompson is expected to slot in at middle linebacker with fellow junior Willie Gay Jr. at his side. Mississippi’s four man front features a pair of redshirt seniors in the middle in Kendell Jones and Lee Autry, along with pass rusher Chauncey Rivers. The secondary includes a trio of fifth year players in Maurice Smitherman, Jaquarius Landrews, and Brian Cole.

Key Departures

  • QB Nick Fitzgerald (Graduation)
  • DT Jeffery Simmons (NFL Draft)
  • DE Montez Sweat (Graduation)
  • S Jonathan Abram (Graduation)

Although only one player left school early for the NFL Draft in Jeffrey Simmons, their losses to graduation will leave a mark on the 2019 Bulldogs. Joining Simmons in the first round of the draft are pass rusher Montez Sweat and safety Johnathan Abram, who are now with the Redskins and Raiders, respectively. Two additional safeties in Jamal Peters and Mark McLaurin also graduated, as did offensive linemen Elgton Jenkins and Shaq Calhoun.

Last but not least, the Bulldogs will have to replace the uber-athletic Nick Fitzgerald at quarterback, who leaves Starkville as the top rusher at the position, third in passing yards, and second in passing touchdowns.

Notable Recruits (Star Ratings and Rankings According to Rivals.com)

  • OT Charles Cross – 5 Star | 6-5, 270lb | Laurel HS | Laurel, MS
  • DT Nathan Pickering – 4 Star | 6-5, 277lb | Seminary School | Seminary, MS
  • S Fred Peters – 4 Star | 6-0, 200lb | Jones County Junior College | Ellisville, MS
  • QB Garrett Shrader – 4 Star | 6-4, 200lb | Charlotte Christian HS | Charlotte, NC

Coach Moorhead and his staff put together the 24th ranked recruiting class in the nation with 21 signees. Leading the pack is their lone five-star prospect in Charles Cross, the third ranked tackle in the country and top recruit in Mississippi, who was originally committed to Florida State. The Bulldogs added three in-state four star recruits in Nathan Pickering, Fred Peters, and athlete Jarrian Jones, who is expected to start out as a safety.

MSU was also able to sign a JUCO recruit in running back Kareem Walker out of Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. The Bulldogs also locked up quarterback prospect Garrett Shrader, who ranked as the seventh dual-threat passer in the class of 2019.

Mississippi State Bulldogs 2019 Schedule

DateOpponent
August 31stLouisiana-Lafayette (Neutral site game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA)
September 7thSouthern Mississippi
September 14thKansas State
September 21stKentucky
September 28th@ Auburn
October 12th@ Tennessee
October 19thLSU
October 26th@ Texas A&M
November 2nd@ Arkansas
November 16thAlabama
November 23rdAbilene Christian
November 28thMississippi

Although they play in the daunting SEC West, the Bulldogs should be able to at least match last year’s success. The road trip to Texas A&M will be a tough matchup with Jimbo Fisher implementing more of his system in College Station. The same can be said for the Alabama game, even with the Bulldogs hosting the Tide at Davis Wade Stadium. One potential trap game is the Tennessee game at Neyland Stadium, which precedes MSU’s home game against LSU, as many players will have the Bayou Bengals circled on their calendars.

Where to Bet on Win Totals and Conference Title Odds in New Jersey

New Jersey residents can log on to 888Sport to wager on Mississippi State’s odds to win the SEC West Division, the SEC title game, as well as the Bulldog’s win total. With an over/under of 8 wins and a tough division, it is a tough call to determine how their season will play out.

Odds to win the SEC West Division

Excluding Playoffs & Bowl Games

SportsbookSEC West WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+1200

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Odds to win the SEC Conference

SportsbookSEC Conference WinnerLink
888Sport NJ+3300

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Number of Games Won – Excluding Bowl Games & Play Offs

Regular season only. Conference championship games do not count.

SportsbookOver 8Under 8Link
888Sport NJ-104-118

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER