Originally written on College Football Universe  |  Last updated 8/24/13
No. 40 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-5)Coach Dan Mullen (fifth season, 29-22 at Mississippi State and overall)Returning starters: 14, 7 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teamsRecruiting rank: 24Strength of schedule: 9 Is this the year that Dan Mullen and his Mississippi State squad can make an impact in the SEC West? After a 7-0 start in 2012, the Bulldogs traveled to Tuscaloosa and were thrashed by the Alabama, which sent them on a downward spiral through the rest of the season. Mullen still managed to reach the Gator Bowl with an 8-5 (4-4) record, but can the Bulldogs stay relevant in 2013? The Bulldog offense is led by quarterback Tyler Russell. The fifth-year senior threw for 24 TDs and 2897 yards in 2012, and will have free reign to choose from a select number of plays in 2013. Russell will need to find new targets as Mississippi State lost their top four receivers from 2012. Look for junior Robert Johnson (17 receptions, 164 yards) to step up; however, standout juco transfer Je...
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