Going into the 2018 Mississippi State football season, there were whispers of championship contenders. The SEC West was supposed to be determined on November 10th in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There was constant talk about how this year’s team had more talent than the 2014 #1 team.
None of this is proving to be true. Although the talent is still there, this team will not be contending for any sort of championship with two losses already on the schedule. Two losses that happen to be handed to Mississippi State from two SEC East schools. When playing in the toughest division in all of college football, the SEC West, you have to stack both of your SEC East matchups. You certainly can’t lose both games.
There’s no denying that this team has talent on the field. Defensively this team is loaded. This Mississippi State defense is one of the best we’ve seen in years. I expect Mississippi State’s defense to keep the Bulldogs in every game they play this season. Including tomorrow’s game versus the Auburn Tigers. Even defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop, has done a great job. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Shoop adjust his defense as the game goes on and he’s had really good game-plans.
The Mississippi State offense is going to need the most rebuilding and, talent-wise, this offense is already built. MSU basically has the same personnel as last year’s team, with the exception of a couple graduates. One of the bigger losses was offensive tackle, Martinez Rankin. Although, Mississippi State played several games with Rankin on the sidelines due to injury. You wouldn’t think that the loss of Rankin would hurt this team that severely. Personally, I don’t think that’s the problem. Yes, the offensive line is the problem, but it is solely because of the scheme.
Joe Moorhead’s new offensive scheme changes everything that our offensive line was taught by Dan Mullen. The offensive line was mainly used for pushing back the opposing defensive line. Under Coach Moorhead, the O-line has a totally different role. The RPO (Run-Pass-Option) offense causes the O-line to be able to block for both runs and passes. The coaching staff has had to enforce a scheme that they’ve never seen before. They also had to destroy the mindset they had under the Mullen offense.
Yes, this team has the most talent Mississippi State has seen in years. When in enforcing a brand new scheme, you’re going to see issues, especially in the first few games. I know that Mississippi State fans want to see the old offense back in place, but I don’t see that happening. Moorhead and this coaching staff will continue to implement their scheme and it’s certainly going to take some time for this team to get hold of it. Don’t be surprised to see Mississippi State pull off some upsets when the offense begins to click.