Texas A&M Week 5 Opponent Preview: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Texas A&M continues SEC play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Kyle Field.

Texas A&M (3-1, 0-1 SEC) play host Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1) Saturday at Kyle Field. Longtime Aggies nemesis Mike Leach is in his second year coaching the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs went 4-7 last year, a campaign that featured as many twists and turns as any Mississippi back road. By the end of the season, there was reason for both optimism and concern in Leach's tenure

READ MORE: Texas A&M's Defense Looks To Rebound Against Air Raid Mississippi State

The Bulldogs' wins this year are over Louisiana Tech and NC State, with the losses to Memphis and LSU. Both losses are by a combined four points. The 'Air Raid' offense appears to be clicking, but the defense is porous. 

Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett has shown he can 'make due' with just about anything he's given to make the Bulldog's defense at least respectable.

Mississippi State

2021 Record: 2-2

Head Coach: Mike Leach

Leach enters his second season with the Bulldogs.

Offensive Set: Air Raid

Defensive Set: 3-3-5

Returning starters on offense: 8

When quarterback K.J. Costello was lost midseason to injury, freshman Will Rogers took over and the team never did click offensively. Moving into 2021, Rogers is the starter and he has impressed, completing 169 of 225 passes (75.1 percent) for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns with two interceptions.

Projected starters on offense: 

QB: Will Rogers (Soph)*

RB: Jo'quavious Marks (Soph)*

WR1: Malik Heath (Sr)*

WR2: Jaden Walley (Soph)*

WR3: Austin Williams (Sr)*

WR4: Caleb Ducking (Jr)

LT: Charles Cross (Soph)*

LG: Laquinston Sharp (Sr)

C: Cole Smith (Jr)*

RG: Kwatrivous Johnson (Jr)

RT: Kameron Jones (Jr)*

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* Denotes returning starters

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Returning starters on defense: 8

The Bulldogs' biggest concerns on defense for 2021 are in the depth department. With eight of eleven starters returning, that starting group is still very solid. 

Projected starters on Defense:

DE: Jordan Davis (Sr)

DT: Jaden Crumedy (Jr)*

DE: Aaron Odom (Sr)

SLB: Tyrus Wheat (Sr)*

MLB: Nathaniel Watson (Jr)

WLB: Aaron Brule (Jr)*

CB: Emmanuel Forbes (Soph)*

CB: Martin Emerson (Jr)*

SS: Landon Guidry (Sr)

FS: Fred Peters (Sr)

BULL: Shawn Preston Jr (Jr)*

Newcomer to Know:

Sawyer Robertson, Quarterback

Incoming freshman quarterback Sawyer Robertson played both baseball and football for the Coronado Mustangs in Lubbock, Texas, where he was recognized as Male Athlete of The Year for baseball, as well as the Offensive Player of the Year for football.

The 6-foot-4, 198-pounder passed for 4,509 yards and 58 touchdowns with the Mustangs last season, amassing a 12-1 overall record. Robertson completed nearly 65% of his passes, with just seven interceptions.

Robertson also accumulated 233 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries, was named the All-City Offensive Player of the Year, was an AllState and Academic All-State honoree, and was named the Class 5A Built Ford Tough Player of the Year. 

CONTINUE READING: 2023 Top Cornerback Names A&M In Top 7

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