We are just days away from real college football. And because of that, you guys have questions. I am here to provide answers to those questions, though I don’t guarantee the quality of said answers.
To the questions!
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports At the end of this NFL season, does Dak live up to the hype? How does he perform on that stage?— Kurt Wirth (@Kurt_Wirth) August 29, 2016
Let’s just stop and think about this question for a moment. When Dak Prescott was drafted, you probably wouldn’t have been able to find a ton of people who paid much attention to it unless they were Bulldog fans or Cowboy fans. Today, there is legitimate hype surrounding his debut as the starter for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 of the NFL schedule.
I think he’ll perform well. He has the best offensive line in professional football blocking for him, possibly the best wide receiver in the game to throw to, a future Hall of Famer at tight end, and one of the most talented rookies to come through at running back. He has weapons galore.
He’s going to have some bad games, and he may have more bad ones than good ones. But he’s three for three thus far on impressing people, and I think he’ll keep it up.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports how long before tiano takes over Williams for the 2nd qb spot?— Top Dawg (@lounge_dawg) August 29, 2016
I think Tiano will get the second string spot quickly. I truly believe that even if Fitzgerald isn’t the starter, he’ll surpass whoever doesn’t get the job for second string simply because I think Mullen will use him much like he did Dak in 2012. He’ll be on the field some, and that little bit will give him the edge and possibly let him take the job as starter in 2017.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports do you see the same inning game picking up this year— matt alexander (@msubiscuit) August 29, 2016
I think Matt was trying to ask if I thought the running game would pick up but autocorrect got the best of him. If so, then I think the answer to the question is yes.
I think the offensive line will be better. If they are, then the running game should also be better. As much as I like Rufus Warren, he never should have been a starting left tackle when it was his first season to be converted to that position. Rankin or Jenkins should help out there, and the rest of the line should be improved as well.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports Anything on the MSU depth chart that jumps out at you? Good or not so good.— The Large Dawg™ (@ktvanderlip) August 29, 2016
There were a few things. The only thing that did not surprise me was the OR that was listed by each quarterback.
But not having Nick James listed means he is likely suspended. I was surprised because it isn’t like Mullen to give away that info before Game Day.
Gerri Green being listed at WLB instead of the Viper really caught my attention. I’ve heard he was challenging for the starting spot at VIper, so to see him at WLB was a bit of a head scratcher.
Has James been arrested before? https://t.co/MKnenvo2nq— Nick (@SailingStNick) August 29, 2016
Yes, he has been arrested before. As a matter of fact, this is the fourth time he has been arrested in the last three years. But it’s hardly much of anything to really catch anyone’s attention. Here is what he has been arrested for:
- 2013: Driving without insurance
- 2014: Disorderly Conduct and driving with a suspended license
- 2015: Public Intoxication
None of these are serious offenses, but this is the second time he has been arrested for public intoxication. While it is good to see he didn’t get behind the wheel of a car while drunk, he might have a drinking problem that needs attention.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports who will start at Quarterback and the slot receiver this week?— The Tupelo Flash (@Cprovine3) August 29, 2016
I don’t know about quarterback. I think Williams might just as a reward for all of his work and time spent with the program, but trying to figure this out is harder than reading tea leaves.
As for slot receiver. Ross was listed as the starter on the Week 1 depth chart, so I’m going to go with him.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports is Nick James kin to John Belushi's character on Animal House?— The Tupelo Flash (@Cprovine3) August 29, 2016
Well lets see if they look anything alike.
Belushi has too much hair, and well, one is white and one is black, so I’m going to say no.
In all seriousness, I’m assuming Tupelo is asking because this is the second time James has been arrested for public intoxication. If he has a drinking problem, he needs to get help for it.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports Would you ever mute fellow state fans?— Bunt Murphy (@JDog5513) August 29, 2016
Did someone say something? I thought I heard a noise. Oh well, I guess I was mistaken. Moving on to the next question.
@JStrawnFWtCT Sad MSU is missing out on playing big-time opponent on massive CFB Day Sep 3 or happy we are "easing into" the season vs USA?— Joey Harvey (@joeyharvey) August 29, 2016
I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t think it is as easy to get excited about the upcoming season as some other schools because we don’t have a big name opponent to open the season.
On the other hand, this is a year when the team needs some time to figure things out. So in the long run it is better for the season as a whole. So I’m going to say slightly happy about it.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports are the cheerleaders extra fine this year?— Bearion-Ledger (@OldMissBears) August 29, 2016
I’m 37 years old. Commenting about the physical appearance of 19-22 year old young ladies makes me feel like a creepy old dude, so I’m going to have to pass. But if you mean are they extra fine as in are they extra good, upstanding citizens, I’m sure they are.
@JStrawnFWtCT with Brandon Holloway having an increased role over last season, how many total yards and touchdowns do you think he gets?— Ethan Lee (@leeethanj) August 29, 2016
Brandon Holloway had just over 800 yards from scrimmage in 2015, but almost 75% of that yardage came in the last six games. This is when the coaching staff figured out how to use Holloway and get the most out of the diminutive tailback. So the answer to this question lies in those six games.
From a rushing perspective, he averaged 4.5 yards per carry in those final six games and he was getting just over nine carries per game. But the last three saw him average just over 12 carries per game. I think that is how many he gets this season. Let’s assume he averages those same 4.5 yards per carry and multiply it times 12. You get 54 total. Multiply that times 12 and you come up with 648 for the season. We’ll round it to 650.
On the receiving side of things, he averaged 14 yards a reception and 4 catches over the last six games. There was no drastic increase or decrease in those six games, so lets assume he does the same thing this season. That would be a total of 56 yards per game and a total for the season of 672. Lets just round it to 675.
If these averages held true, Holloway will finish with 1,325 yards from scrimmage on 16 touches per game. 15 to 20 touches is about the most his body can probably handle. That’s a lot of production from a small player. The key is to use him properly. He scored five touchdowns last season, and I think that stays about the same. He’s going to have to break open big plays to score. He won’t get the ball inside the ten or five to pound it in.
@JStrawnFWtCT on a scale of 1 to earth imploding, how doomed are we https://t.co/21pTqIpuQS— Ethan Lee (@leeethanj) August 29, 2016
The story Ethan linked to here is weird and full of sceince-y terms I don’t understand or care to look up. But I’m guessing we’ll be okay, but I’ll put it at a 3 just to throw your worry gene a bone.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports What are your top 5 SEC match ups that you're looking forward to watching this season?— christy (@GoRebels1213) August 29, 2016
I’m going to assume you mean outside Mississippi State games, because those are the ones I look forward to the most. I like watching other SEC games take place not involving the Bulldogs, but I’m not going out of my way to watch any of them. So here are the five outside MSU games I’m looking forward to, but in no particular order.
- Alabama at Ole Miss: If Alabama loses to Ole Miss three straight times I would be shocked.
- Alabama at LSU: If LSU loses this game, Les Miles might be gone even if they win all 11 of their other games.
- Alabama at Tennessee: If Tennessee is for real, we likely find out here.
- Florida at Tennessee: The above game might not mean much if the Vols can’t figure out how to get past their Gator curse.
- Texas A&M at Auburn: This needs to be called the train wreck bowl because I think there is a great chance both of these teams have their season spiral out of control in 2016.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports with the injuries to the db's, will that be the weak spot on the defense— The Tupelo Flash (@Cprovine3) August 30, 2016
Cornerback was always going to be the weak spot on this defense, so it makes it even more worrisome. I think this defense could a force to be reckoned with, but the corners could be a serious weak link.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports which MSU outcome best defines State's potential for the season: S. Carolina, LSU, or Auburn?— cristilmethod (@cristilmethod) August 30, 2016
It could be every one of these depending how they go. IF the Bulldogs lose to South Carolina, the prospects of a 7 or 8 win season, and possibly 9 if the Bulldogs could go undefeated at home, fly out the window. Lose that game and getting to a bowl looks doubtful. Winning the game doesn’t change much.
Losing to LSU wouldn’t be bad unless the Bulldogs just got run off the field. But beating them changes the tone for the rest of the season. A win in Baton Rouge means the Bulldogs instantly become the favorite in every game they play until they head to Tuscaloosa, and we could be looking at a repeat of 2014. Losing the game doesn’t change much
But the most likely scenario is we beat South Carolina, lose to LSU and we host Auburn with one loss. If MSU loses, the season can still be good, but you’re 0-1 in one of the “swing games”. Doubt about what this team can accomplish starts to creep in, plus the Auburn game is followed by a not-so-easy road game in Provo. Losing to Auburn could start a slide the Bulldogs might not recover from.
Beating Auburn though could start a winning streak that takes the Bulldogs all the way to a nine win season. Every year it seems like the Auburn game determines how good or bad the season is, and I expect it to be the same this year.
@JStrawnFWtCT @mstatesports predict the first three offensive plays for MSU on Saturday— cristilmethod (@cristilmethod) August 30, 2016
A lot of people think Mullen is going to pound the ball with the run to start the season. I don’t. I think he wants to see what he has in all of his quarterbacks early and tries to catch everyone off guard. Look for whoever gets the start to try to find Donald Gray early on a deep Go route.
Since the first 15 plays are usually scripted, I think Mullen tries to get Fred Ross involved with a quick slant. He’ll follow that up with a sweep to Holloway or he’ll put Holloway out in motion and run a screen to him on the outside.
Chances if all this happening is likely less than 1%.
@JStrawnFWtCT what are your top three favorite college football podcasts?— FWtCT (@mstatesports) August 30, 2016
Here is what I listen to in terms of podcasts.
- B&B Show on Bulldogs Sports Radio
- Keep it 100 on Bulldogs Sports Radio
- The Boneyard on Bulldogs Sports Radio
- Podcast version of The Drive at 5 with Jake Wimberly
- For Whom the Podcast Tolls
- My own, The Bully BarkLine
I don’t listen to any outside those six mainly because I don’t have time to. Trying to work in extra ones only happens when another one discusses Mississippi State. I only listen to my own just so I can self critique.
Personally, blogging can make you become consumed with what you blog about. That usually causes people to react in one of two ways. They either want more and more of what they blog about, or they just want a break from the subject matter all together.
I’m the type that wants a break. If you listen to the ABC show they do every Wednesday on the B&B show, you’ll notice none of the questions I ask ever have anything to do with Mississippi State. Movies and television give me the break I want, so that’s what I ask about.
That will do it for this week’s edition of For Whom the Mailbag Tolls. If you ever have a question, hit me up on Twitter @JStrawnFWtCT.