July 20, 2010

Bulldogs carry momentum into 2010

Facing the nation's toughest schedule in 2009 left Mississippi State inches shy of reaching postseason play.

But the Bulldogs went into the offseason with plenty of momentum following their 41-27 win over archrival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl leaving many of the maroon and white faithful both excited and optimistic about year two under Dan Mullen.

MSU returns much of its young talent from a season ago but will have to fill key voids left by running back Anthony Dixon and linebacker Jamar Chaney if the Bulldogs hope to go bowling in 2010.

State will likely use a run by committee backfield this season with junior Robert Elliott, junior college All-American transfer Vick Ballard and redshirt freshman Montrell Conner likely carrying the bulk of the load.

Chaney's role will be filled by senior Chris White, who makes the shift to the middle after starting all 12 games at outside linebacker during his first season in Starkville. Senior weakside linebacker K.J. Wright will likely be maximized to his full potential under the blitzing scheme of new co-defensive coordinators Manny Diaz and Chris Wilson. Former safeties Emmanuel Gatling and Cameron Lawrence have both bulked up and are competing for the strongside linebacker spot.

Another question mark for the Bulldogs is who will take the majority of the snaps under center.

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