Mississippi State football: Four swing games

Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen outlines what he expects from his players this 2017 football season in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
By: 
COLLIN BRISTER
Staff Writer

BYU

The Bulldogs will host BYU this season after falling short to the Cougars in Provo, Utah in double overtime last year. BYU is always a solid club, and they’ll be no different this year. The Cougars have played in raucous environments before, and it’ll be no different when they go to Starkville this year.

BYU will start the season off playing LSU in Dallas, so they’ll have some familiarity with 2017 SEC teams when they head to Starkville. The last time BYU played Mississippi State in Starkville, they were able to come out with a hard fought victory in 2001.

LOUISIANA TECH

The Bulldogs will head to Ruston, Louisiana to take on another set of Bulldogs in the second week of the season.

Louisiana Tech has proven to be a thorn in Mississippi State’s side over the years. Louisiana Tech was able to beat Mississippi State in 2008, and took the Bulldogs to overtime in Starkville in 2011.

Louisiana Tech will be one of the better teams in the Sun Belt conference this season and will have a chance to play for the conference title again this year. It’s a game that Mississippi State has to win to have the type of season they want, but it won’t be an easy task.

KENTUCKY

The good news for Mississippi State is that they’ll get three of their four biggest swing games at home.

Kentucky will return to Starkville in 2017. The Wildcats were blown out in their last trip to Starkville in 2015, but were able to beat Mississippi State on a last second field goal to win last year.

The Bulldogs and Wildcats usually play tightly contested games no matter what the teams’ records are, and this year will likely be no different.

Kentucky will be better on the offensive side of the football this year, and that’ll likely help them when they head to Starkville.

OLE MISS

You can’t talk about swing games for Mississippi State without mentioning the Egg Bowl.

Who knows what kind of mental state Ole Miss could be in when they come to Starkville for their last game of the season.

They’ve lost their head coach, and they could be facing severe NCAA sanctions by that point in time. The Rebels may not be mentally prepared to come to Starkville that day.

They could, however, have a resurgent season under interim head coach Matt Luke and try to come in to Davis-Wade stadium and spoil the egg bowl for the home faithful.

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