It is no secret when you say SEC Football one of the last teams that come to mind are the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Over their history – more times than not they just have not mattered.
Since day one of his arrival in Starkville head coach Dan Mullen has been trying to change the attitude and perception of the SEC Western Division Bulldogs. In just three short years he has taken this team from also-ran to a mid tear SEC program. Mullen has won two consecutive bowl games and dominated his instate rival Ole Miss. However, the mark on Mullen is that’s about all he has done – which is he has only beaten one SEC Western Division opponent during his time in Starkville.
Many will tell you it is a success that is skewed by easy out of conference wins and beating up on inferior SEC Eastern Divisional opponents. For all Mullen has done for Starkville, others want to see more. This season – a season that sets up perfectly schedule wise for the Bulldogs, Mississippi State must have five players that are considered average players, step up and be big time players.
Diamond five is no breaking news and it is not like I am dropping bombs with this one – Tyler Russell. The highly touted prep star out of Meridian, MS that MSU fans have so eagerly waited to see as the starter for three years now finally gets his shot.
Head coach Dan Mullen has said this is Tyler’s team and expect the Bulldogs to throw it more than they have in the past.
Russell has taken lots of criticism for not being able to beat out Chris Relf over the last two years and playing average at best when he had his chance. To his credit, lots of Russell’s time up to this point was against the likes of LSU, Alabama and South Carolina – a game State nearly pulled off last year. But – now Russell has had another spring and fall camp as “the man” behind center and even though Dan Mullen has had camp on lock down – the word coming from camp is Russell is ready and look for big things from the red-shirt junior.
It is no secret that Starkville, MS has had its share of bad quarterbacking. The single season record for passing yards is 2,422 by Dave Marler back in 1978 – during the wishbone era. Mississippi State has never burnt it up through the air but that should change this year.
With five senior wide receivers and a quarterback that looks the part of an all SEC player – look for Russell to break Marler’s record and help lead the Bulldogs to their third straight bowl game. I fully expect Russell to finally give the Bulldog Nation a throwing quarterback everyone can be proud of.
About the Author
Written by Jake Wimberly
Mississippi State alum, co-founder of makeitrainsports, co-host to makeitrainsports radio on Rebel sports radio and Bulldog sports radio all on the Vsporto Network. Lover of SEC Sports, fitness and married to my best friend. Enjoy ketchup in large amounts and in search for a flying unicorn.