Opening Win Could Propel Mississippi State Bulldogs

Phil Sears – USA TODAY SPORTS

The Mississippi State Bulldogs kick off the 2013 campaign on Saturday night with a tough match-up against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Houston.

The Bulldogs got off to a fast start last year, winning their first seven games. However, MSU lost five of its last six games, against a much tougher schedule, to finish at 8-5.

In 2013, the tougher portion of the schedule also comes later in the year, with consecutive games against the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Texas A&M Aggies and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Those are probably not games that the Bulldogs will win, so it’s important for them to get off to a fast start this season.

A win over Oklahoma State could propel MSU to big things this season. The only other really tough game in the first seven contests for MSU is the October 5 matchup against the LSU Tigers in Starkville. While starting 7-0 again this season isn’t likely, it’s hard to say how confident the Bulldogs would be if they were able to upset a ranked opponent like Oklahoma State.

If the Bulldogs do lose to the Cowboys and all fall against LSU, they will likely take a 5-2 record into that tough stretch of games. Coming out of those games at 5-5 would leave MSU needing to beat either the Arkansas Razorbacks or the Ole Miss Rebels to get bowl eligible.

MSU is counting on its experience to be a major factor this year. Senior quarterback Tyler Russell and senior running back LaDarius Perkins have seen a lot of action during their time in Starkville, and the Bulldogs hope that experience can translate into wins.

While it’s not a make-or-break situation in the opener for Dan Mullen and his team, a win against Oklahoma State would bode well for their chances the rest of the season.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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