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MSU preview: For perhaps the first time ever, Bama is the hunter, not the hunted

MSU preview: For perhaps the first time ever, Bama is the hunter, not the hunted

Alabama is coming off its annual exposure to trench warfare, otherwise known as the LSU game, and the results were almost too terrible to imagine. Alabama needed a last-minute, game-tying drive and an overtime period to defeat the Bayou Bengals, and the Tide’s reward is a date with a Bulldog team that is more dynamic offensively, has better speed at the quarterback position and who spent last week toying with UT-Martin.

If this game was being played in Starkville, it would be even more of a circus than it figures to be in Tuscaloosa. But with Alabama’s home-field performances being so strong in 2014, the top concern might not be Mississippi State, but the annual post-LSU hangover from which the Crimson Tide always seems to suffer.

Previews 2014: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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Previews 2014: Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Bulldogs have been mentioned as potential darkhorse contenders seemingly every year since Dan Mullen took over the team five years ago – but this time, the hype might be for real. The Bulldogs have the SEC’s most dynamic young quarterback, a veteran roster and a stout defense. Those factors are usually a good combination for teams looking to break into the upper echelon of an SEC division.

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2013 Fall Previews: Mississippi State Bulldogs

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2013 Fall Previews: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Despite being a part of Southern football for decades and winning a SEC championship in the 1940s, Mississippi State’s program arguably reached its zenith over the past few seasons of Dan Mullen’s tenure. The Bulldogs went from being cannon fodder to a respectable program that could beat teams of better talent, if those opponents lacked discipline. But is it time for a correction? Mississippi State is largely rebuilding its defense in 2013, and SEC defensive coordinators seem to have caught up to the Bulldogs’ offensive schemes. A couple of ho-hum recruiting classes adds to the concern.

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