2015 might be a rebuilding year for State…
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Much of Mississippi State’s success came from their senior class. The Bulldogs had one of the most successful offenses in the country, and led in a lot of categories for the majority of the season. They will lose six starters and will only return five on offense after the conclusion of the Orange Bowl. However, they will be expecting to return starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who announced he has no interests in a 2015 NFL campaign. They will also return leading rusher Josh Robinson. The talented running back finished ranked third in the SEC with 1,128 rushing yards.
Within those six starters leaving on offense, the Bulldogs will also lose three critical offensive linemen – center Dillion Day, left tackle Blaine Clausell, and right guard Ben Beckwith. These guys helped produce over 6,000 total yards of offense in the 2014 season. They will lose five kickoff returners after the 2014 season, who produced over 1,000 yards and seven points. The leader of the group was senior wide receiver Robert Johnson who recorded 10 kickoff returns for 181 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, it is more of a smash to the depth than the offense. The Bulldogs will lose another six starters, including their top player, junior linebacker Benardrick McKinney, who will be entering the 2015 NFL Draft. McKinney finished the 2014 season with 56 total tackles and three sacks. Only one starter will be returning on the Bulldogs defensive front, defensive end Ryan Brown. The biggest struggle for the Bulldogs defense was the secondary, and that area will suffer some hits in depth too, with two starters leaving after this season.
This is a defense that allowed three 500+ yard games against UAB, Kentucky, and Ole Miss. With a huge loss in their defensive front, and the most talented in their secondary, one could only speculate a huge loss in depth for the Bulldogs defense.
So, let’s break things down. The Bulldogs will lose more than half of their total starters (12). However, they will return their top players on offense, Prescott and Robinson. But, the offensive line is a critical punch to the depth charts. This team will be searching for standout talent all over the board. Rebuilding will also be a must for their defensive line. In conclusion, it is hard to argue that the 2015 season will not be a rebuilding year for Mississippi State.
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