User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Mississippi State eyes jump in SEC

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) - Mississippi State has been a reasonably successful program during coach Dan Mullen's five-year tenure, advancing to four straight bowl games.

Advertisement
Now the Bulldogs have a roster that looks as if it can attain even more.

Mississippi State returns a veteran defense and one of the league's few experienced quarterbacks. Dak Prescott threw for 1,940 yards and 10 touchdowns - and also rushed for 13 touchdowns - after becoming the starter early last season. The charismatic junior is now the unquestioned leader of the Bulldogs' offense.

The defense has nine starters returning, including junior linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

Mullen said on Tuesday at SEC Media Days that his team isn't backing away from expectations and the goal is ''to find a way to get to Atlanta'' and compete for an SEC championship.

''When you embrace that expectation early on as a program, when you embrace that for this year's team, that's what they're working for from Day 1,'' Mullen said. ''I don't think they shy away from it.''

Prescott's dual-threat ability is a big reason for the optimism. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder was often labeled as a running quarterback early in his career, but his passing progressed rapidly last season.

He'll have some experienced receivers, including Jameon Lewis, Robert Johnson, Joe Morrow and De'Runnya Wilson, as targets. Lewis led the team with 64 catches for 923 last year and the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Wilson provides the big play threat the Bulldogs' offense has sometimes lacked.

''Dak is a guy that because of his skill set, he can beat you with his arm, with his legs, he can run between the tackles and he can run in the open field,'' Mullen said. ''He has a lot going for him. But most importantly, he has that will to win.''

Mississippi State's defense will have at least five seniors starting and several experienced juniors. The unit ranked fifth in the league last year in defense, giving up just 23 points per game.

Now the Bulldogs must prove they can break through against elite opponents in the SEC's brutal Western Division. Mississippi State hasn't beaten Alabama or LSU during Mullen's tenure - a trend that almost certainly has to change if the Bulldogs want a real shot at playing in Atlanta.

''It's going to be a big road,'' McKinney said. ''In the offseason, we train every day for games like that to be able to play four quarters of relentless effort.''

-----

Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Clemson wins ACC title, playoffs up next
Penn State tops Wisconsin for Big 10 title
Bama rolls past Florida 54-16 to win SEC
San Diego State edges Wyoming for MWC
West Virginia beats Baylor, 'under' cashes
Temple cruises past Navy to win AAC
Richmond rallies to eliminate North Dakota
WMU holds off Ohio for MAC Championship
Washington routs Colorado for Pac-12 title
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA FB Hot Streaks
2-0 LN, 10-4 G-Plays, +1,805 TY
7-3 Saturday, 30-10 L40, +1,659 TY
5-0 Streak, 13-5 L18 Totals
2-0 LN, 12-3 G-Plays, +1,563 TY
13-3 L16 G-Play Streak
14-5 L4 Saturdays, 58% +1,251 TY
2-0 Y'day, +2,875 Over/Unders TY
5-1 L6 Picks, 12-4 L16 G-Plays
35-12 L4 Saturdays, 44-22 Streak
17-6 L3 Saturdays, 28-13 L41 Run
18-7 L25 G-Plays, +2,073 Totals TY
27-11 L5 Saturdays, 30-12 Streak
11-4 CFB Record L15 Picks
9-3 L12 CFB Guarantees
8-2 Record L3 Saturdays
10-4 NCAA FB G-Plays TY
12-6 L18 Guaranteed Plays
4-1 L5 Guaranteed Plays
11-4 L15 G-Plays, 17-8 L25 Picks
4-1 Last 5, 9-3 Last 12 Picks
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1805
Joe Williams + 1659
Kyle Hunter + 1563
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 480
James Manos + 445
Stephen Nover + 300
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Rickenbach 58 %
Pat Hawkins 58 %
Kyle Hunter 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 884
Marc Lawrence + 817
Kyle Hunter + 640
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2875
Micah Roberts + 2073
Kyle Hunter + 1901
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 715
Scott Rickenbach + 565
Bruce Marshall + 531
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership