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Mississippi State Must Start Strong To Finish Strong

ESPN's resident SEC Blogger, Chris Low, posted what he thinks is our key stretch of the season.

Key stretch: at Auburn (Sept. 10), LSU (Sept. 15), Louisiana Tech (Sept. 24), at Georgia (Oct. 1)

I think the first 5 games really hold the key to our season. Memphis should be an easy win and give us plenty of in-game scenarios to work out any issues lingering and give some new guys much needed playing time.

The road game to Auburn is the real key. It is an early road test against a team that we should have beat last year and couldn't. We are a different team, and so is Auburn. Gone are some key playmakers like Cam Newton and Nick Fairley (who seemed to come out of nowhere in our game last year). If we can keep mistakes to a minimum, we can take a 2-0 record back home for a Thursday night showdown against LSU.

We haven't beaten LSU since 1999, despite coming very close to taking care of business 2 years ago in Starkville. LSU has uncertainty right now. Their starting QB is suspended indefinitely and one of their top receivers could still be out while the NCAA sorts out his issues. LSU seems to own us, though, and I see this game as a likely loss unless we can have the most perfect game in the history of Bulldog football.

Following a home game against Louisiana Tech, we go on the road to Athens for a dog fight between the hedges. Georgia limped out of Starkville last year and will be looking to settle up when we pull in to town. They have had issues of their own this off season, but we have not won in Athens in 55 years. Can we get out of town with a 4-1 record?

If we can walk away from Athens standing at 4-1, that doesn't really make matters any better. The rest of our schedule is riddled with big games against big teams (South Carolina) and trap games that could be easy to overlook (at UAB). We could easily be 7-2 heading into our game with Alabama. We could just as easily be 5-4 and needing to win 2 out of our last 3 games to guarantee a bowl bid.

It should be a fun season regardless and I can't wait for Thursday night.

Hail State!