The most important three game stretch this season is actually four weeks long. The Bulldogs play September 29th against Dan Mullen’s Florida Gators. They stay at Davis Wade for a matchup with the Auburn Tigers the following week. And then Mississippi State gets a bye before going on the road to LSU.
This stretch is so important because it sets up Mississippi State and Alabama for a game with SEC West implications. Granted, the Bulldogs have to get by Texas A&M the week prior but the stakes are similar to 2014. The Bulldogs could be one game away from their second appearance in the SEC championship game.
Coming into the Florida game, Mississippi State should be 4-0 and solidly ranked within the top 15 or even top 10 in the country. Florida would have already traveled to Knoxville the week prior in a game that helped decide the middle of the weak SEC East. I’m sure the cowbells will be heard for miles as Davis Wade Stadium welcomes Dan Mullen back to Starkville. I am curious to know what kind of reception Dan will get when he comes out on the field. SEC East and West teams are normally not familiar with each other but much of the Florida staff is comprised of former MSU personnel. And almost all of the Mississippi State players are familiar with Dan Mullen and his schemes. Honestly, this is a game in which the Bulldogs are more talented and should probably win. But emotions may be running high. Can the Bulldogs exact revenge on their former coach?
It’s July and I’m tired of waiting for football season. Enjoy this clip from a previous visit from the Gators to Starkville.
Game two in this three game stretch will welcome Gus Malzahn and his Auburn Tigers to Starkville. Historically, the Tigers have dominated the Bulldogs but they have actually split the series the last six years. Auburn has won the last two matchups in somewhat convincing fashion. I still remember the 2016 game. I can honestly say that was the first and only time I have ever left a Mississippi State football game early. It was a beatdown and one of the worst performances under Dan Mullen. State will look to avenge two straight losses. This game has potential SEC and national implications. This game is the epitome of a toss up. Both teams feature strong lines and playmakers on defense. This game will come down to coaching. Will Coach Moorhead prove that he belongs among the SEC elite or will Gus the Bus win three straight against the Dawgs?
Let’s revisit that special October afternoon in 2014 when Mississippi State vaulted to Number 1 in the country.
The Bulldogs will welcome a bye before traveling to Baton Rouge. As we all know, the Swamp has never been kind to the Bulldogs. However, Mississippi State has done well the past two times in Death Valley winning with Dak in 2014 and losing by three in 2016. As a fan I have trouble being overly confident against the Bayou Bengals. Something inside of me just says we will have trouble with the LSU Tigers. But these aren’t your grandfather’s LSU Tigers. LSU may have as many as three to five losses coming into the game. This may be State’s opportunity to show the rest of the conference it is for real. Coach O survives another season after this one but beating a tough Mississippi State squad may be too much for his inexperienced group.
My first time to visit Tiger Stadium and State wins. Coincidence? I think not.