The Mississippi State Bulldogs will be under the bright lights of the Superdome Saturday morning when they open the 2019 season against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
UL was formidable last year, finishing the regular season 7-5 but taking losses to Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Championship and Tulane in the Cure Bowl to fall to 7-7 on the season.
The Cajuns and Bulldogs also faced off last season, and Mississippi State ran away with a 56-10 victory behind Nick Fitzgerald’s six touchdown performance.
Fitzgerald, obviously, is gone. His backup from last season, Keytaon Thompson, is also gone. Thompson decided to explore a transfer after graduate transfer Tommy Stevens won the starting quarterback job. Stevens previously played under Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead at Penn State, where Moorhead was offensive coordinator. This reunion has Mississippi State as one of the more intriguing SEC teams heading into the season, and this game will be a great chance for Stevens to show everyone what he brings to the table, as it will likely be a rout like last season’s affair.
Also, running back Kylin Hill is back and looking to build upon a strong sophomore season where he had a solid 6.3 yards per carry. The offensive line and receiving corps also return the bulk of their talent.
It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs look on defense with the departures of Montez Sweat, Jeffrey Simmons, and Johnathan Abram. Preseason All-SEC first team linebacker Erroll Thompson will look to make a significant impact, though. As will cornerback Cameron Dantzler.
Mississippi State will be tested on defense by first team All-Sun Belt wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley and second team All-Sun Belt running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas. If the Bulldogs can contain those players, they’ll win with ease.
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Time: Noon ET
Line: Mississippi State (-19)