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Looking Ahead: Football Edition

Looking at some of the key aspects of next season’s football team

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of hype around the upcoming MSU football season. New coaches, talented veterans, and a high standard will be what Mississippi State is working with this season, but how far can this team really go?

I think this team has a chance to make it to a New Year's Six Bowl or possibly a playoff berth if the cards fall the right way. For this to be possible, here are a few things that must happen.

NCAA Football: Charleston Southern at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat must live in opposing backfields.

Montez Sweat led the SEC in sacks with 11 last season. Jeffery Simmons is his own kind of animal. At 6"4 and 301 pounds, he is a human wrecking ball through the middle of a defensive line. The great thing about this duo is that if you double team one then you have another to worry about.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

2.) Receivers must step up when called upon.

This was the Achilles Heel of last year's team. 3rd and long and we have to run a QB draw because our receivers cannot get separation. Thankfully, this years recruiting class brought in three 4 star receivers. I think Malik Heath and Stephen Guidry could be immediate impacts for our receiving corps.

3.) Nick Fitzgerald must find comfort in throwing the ball.

I realize that Nick Fitzgerald is a running quarterback, but we have all seen it only take one bad fall to ruin a season (I cried during the Egg Bowl). If Nick wants to keep defenses honest, he must be able to throw from the pocket.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

4.) Aeris Williams must keep on rollin'.

I love Aeris Williams so much. Then you bring in the man that developed Saquon Barkley and that should make you really happy. I think Aeris will be a focal point of our new offense. Also, our younger backs should compliment him as well.

NCAA Football: TaxSlayer Bowl-Louisville vs Mississippi State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

5.) Mark McLaurin must lead the secondary.

This kid had an amazing bowl game with 3 interceptions. I believe he is very athletic and can read a quarterback's eyes very well. With Mark's leadership, the secondary should be decent enough to cover receivers until the d-line gets in the backfield.