2004 SEC Football Preview: Mississippi State

2004 SEC Football Preview: Mississippi State

After a couple of disappointing seasons under Jackie Sherrill, Mississippi State starts over in 2004 with new head coach Sylvester Croom. Today's edition of our 2004 SEC Football preview takes a capsule look at the Bulldogs.

COACHING


AP/ R. Solis


Head Coach: Sylvestor Croom (Career Rec: 0-0)
Offensive Coordinator: Woody McCorvey
Defensive Coordinator: Ellis Johnson

2003 Record: 2-10 overall (1-7 SEC)

2003 NCAA STATS RANKINGS

Total Offense: 99th (320.7)
Rushing Offense: 94th (118.7)
Passing Offense: 76th (202.0)
Scoring Offense: 101st (18.8)
Total Defense:113th (473.5)
Rushing Defense: 90th (190.2)
Pass Defense: 115th (283.2)
Scoring Defense: 117th (39.2)

STARTERS RETURNING

Offense (7):


LT Richard Burch (6-5, 319, Jr.)
LG Will Rogers (6-4, 326, Sr.)
RG Otis Riddley (6-1, 340, So.)
RT David Stewart (6-6, 302, Sr.)
FL Ray Ray Bivines (5-11, 176, Sr.)
*TB Jerious Norwood (6-0, 192, Jr.)
FB Darnell Jones (5-11, 240, Sr.)

Defense (7):


DT Ronald Fields (6-2, 296, Sr.)
*RE Willie Evans (6-2, 263, Jr.)
*WLB Marvin Byrdsong (6-2, 240, Jr.)
FS Kevin Dockery (5-10, 181, Jr.)
SS Jeramie Johnson (6-0, 197, So.)
SS Darren Williams (6-2, 204, Jr.)
RCB Quinton Culberson (6-0, 216, So.)
* All-Star Candidates

Roster

TEAM STRENGTHS

Defensive secondary, offensive line.

TEAM QUESTION MARKS

Quarterback, receiver, depth.

KEY GAME

Sept 4, Tulane. Mississippi State needs to start off the Sylvestor Croom era with a win.

HEAD COACH'S COMMENTS

"Happy to come back to the conference after 17 years in the pros. Always considered this the best college football conference in the country, when evaluating from being in the pros, look at the players in the NFL, caliber of players in this conference, honor me to be part of it."

"I look forward to long tenure at Mississippi State. People of our university have welcomed myself and staff with open arms, look forward to great things in the future, hope one day down the road, take a while, we can get to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game."

"Our players have embraced our concepts, embraced attitude work ethic we want, still long way to go, how good will be this year, no real idea. Have to get a better picture of where our talent level is, but I do know we will be competitive, players have worked hard over the summer, hopefully we will not beat ourselves, play tough and physical, finish every play and have character and strength to finish out in the fourth quarter and pull some out in the end."

VandyMania Projection

2004 SCHEDULE AND GAME PREDICTIONS


Sept. 4 TULANE, L 31-24
Sept. 11 AUBURN, L 35-21
Sept. 18 MAINE, W 17-10
Sept. 25 at LSU, L 38-7
Oct. 2 at Vanderbilt, L 30-27
Oct. 9 UAB, L 16-13
Oct. 23 FLORIDA, L 28-20
Oct. 30 KENTUCKY, L 10-6
Nov. 6 at Alabama, L 27-7
Nov. 20 ARKANSAS, L 20-13
Nov. 27 at Ole Miss, L 28-27

VandyMania's 2004 Mississippi State prediction: 1-10, (0-8 SEC)

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