The Oklahoma State Cowboys owned one of the most explosive offenses in college football last season while being the not-so-proud owners of a mediocre defense. Mike Gundy has a 67-35 record in his eighth season with the Cowboys, owning one of the better head coaching records at the school.
On the other side of the field, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are led by head coach Dan Mullen who led the team to their third straight bowl game and their fourth in the past six seasons. However, they are in the toughest conference in college football — the SEC.
Oklahoma State, like I said before, were one of the best offenses in college football. The Cowboys averaged 45.7 points and 547 yards per game last season. The offense is only returning five starters from last year’s squad, but Clint Chelf is set to be a solid starting quarterback. He passed for 1,588 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions in limited time last season. He will have the pleasure of throwing to top wide out Josh Stewart.
Mississippi State, on the other hand, had a pretty average offense, led by quarterback Tyler Russell. He passed for nearly 2,900 yards and 24 touchdowns last season and became one of the conference’s solid QB options. The offense returns all rushing weapons including 1,000-yard rusher LaDarius Perkins. The receiving corps will be a bit unproven as they are losing their top-four options from last season.
Mississippi State had a pretty solid defense last season, allowing just 23.3 points per game, but they are only returning five starters to that side of the ball. Returning middle linebacker and 100-tackle guy from a year ago, Benardrick McKinney, will help out a bit. Oklahoma State returns seven defensive starters from last season and will likely be much improved from last season.
Mississippi State will be playing Oklahoma State at a neutral site in Houston, Texas, at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Mississippi State 28, Oklahoma State 35
Related: SEC Week One Preview