If the Mississippi State Bulldogs can pull off an upset by beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys this Saturday at Reliant Stadium in Houston, it will be the second major upset over the Cowboys in less than a year.
Last February, the Bulldogs and head coach, Dan Mullen pulled off one of the biggest national recruiting coups by signing long-time Cowboys commit, wide receiver Fred Ross.
Ross, a 6-foot-2, 185 pound four-star recruit out of Tyler, Texas (John Tyler High School), switched his commitment from the Cowboys to the Bulldogs the night before National Signing Day after taking an official visit to Starkville in January. The freshman wideout was a Parade All-American in high school catching 85 tosses for 1,580 yards and 22 touchdowns as a Lion his senior season.
Ross has been considered along with Bulldogs freshman defensive end phenom Chris Jones as being the two of the best signees in the Mullen-era at Starkville. The signing provides added depth to a wide receiver corps that lost three playmakers from last season.
The freshman comes into this season brining instant playmaking ability to that program, especially after the losses of Chad Bumphis, Arcedo Clark and Chris Smith after last season. He is not part of the Dawgs two-deep depth chart that was released last week by Mullen, as he is fighting off veteran starters Joe Morrow, Jameon Lewis and Robert Johnson and others for immediate playing time this season. Ross has wowed Bulldogs offensive coordinator Les Koenning and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales in fall drills this month, and could be in the starting lineup at some point this season as a true freshman.
The addition of Ross to that Bulldog program also gives them a big-play target who can stretch the field with his top-flight speed on deep patterns. The addition of Ross and his childhood friend from his hometown, junior wide receiver Jeremey Chappelle, gives MSU a SEC brand in the state of Texas that they have never established in program history. This game being played in the Houston area also displays the Bulldogs program on a silver platter to prospective recruits in Texas.
This non-conference matchup is not just going to be a homecoming for the Tyler, Texas native in his first collegiate game, it’s going to be a little bit personal for the once Oklahoma State commit.
Just the thought of a supposedly doormat SEC team plucking away a recruit from the projected Big 12 favorite this season makes this an intriguing matchup, along with the two teams potent offenses as well.
Classic SEC dominance being displayed once again.