To Gene Chizik, it’s possible for Mississippi State to make noise in the SEC West this year.
Speaking on The Paul Finebaum Show on Wednesday, the former Auburn coach and current SEC Network analyst gave his thoughts on the Bulldogs’ potential after visiting Starkville this week. Finebaum asked him how Mississippi State might fare this season under first-year coach Joe Moorhead, and Chizik is giving the Bulldogs a chance to be “a potentially dangerous team” if all goes well.
“If offensively they catch on to the scheme that Joe Morrhead brings in here, if Nick Fitzgerald becomes as healthy — 100 percent — by the time kickoff opens Sept. 1, if all those things fall into place, I think you’re looking at a potentially dangerous team,” Chizik told Finebaum. “Because, defensively, they have some real dudes out here. I watched them practice yesterday. They have some cats. If all those things fall into place, I think you’re looking at somebody who can challenge and make a lot of people in the West nervous.
“If I’m a team in the SEC West, and this thing gets put together … they’re going to have their hands full.”
Mississippi State is somewhat of a question as it begins a new era. The Bulldogs enjoyed high moments under Dan Mullen last season in finishing with a 9-4 record and a victory against Louisville in the TaxSlayer Bowl. But the cupboard isn’t bare in Starkville, with many of the Bulldogs’ key faces returning this fall.
Still, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald’s progress will be a key development to follow. He’s working his way back from a gruesome ankle injury sustained in a loss to Ole Miss in November. If he rebounds well and has a standout fall, anything is possible for Mississippi State.
Click below to listen to the complete interview featuring Chizik:
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) April 11, 2018