Walker: MSU's event from "respectable to great" would require getting rid of Bama thorn from aspect

ATLANTA — First-year Mississippi State teach Joe Moorhead has already had his "welcome to the South" moment.

It occurs every time he steps out of his door and is smacked within the face via the Mississippi humidity.

but on Wednesday, Moorhead skilled his first "welcome to the Southeastern convention moment" as he and his Bulldogs took their flip at SEC media days.

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it's very diverse from the Patriot League media day he used to attend at the eco-friendly Pond country membership all over his head teaching days at Fordham college.

That changed into evident from the throng of crimson-clad fans who lined the lobby of the school football hall of fame to greet Alabama instruct Nick Saban, who — a great deal to Moorhead's pride — took his flip on the podium after the primary-yr Mississippi State coach.

"it might be like taking the stage and performing after the Beatles and no one is going to be of their seats and paying attention to what you might be doing," Moorhead spoke of.

Being forward of Alabama on Wednesday changed into a superb factor for Moorhead.

but when he definitely wants to make certain folks are paying attention, he'll should discover a means for his team to be forward of the Crimson Tide on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa.

Mississippi State has misplaced to Alabama 10 straight years. Dan Mullen, who left Mississippi State for Florida after remaining season, by no means beat Alabama. MSU's remaining win over its nemesis was in 2007 beneath former train Sylvester Croom.

"certainly Alabama is the commonplace in our convention. ... And finally it is our largest problem as a software, is we're seeking to raise this program from decent to tremendous," Moorhead spoke of.

The Bulldogs had been constant below Mullen and flirted with greatness in 2014, when Haughton native Dak Prescott had the group sitting at the No. 1 spot all through the first season of the college football Playoff.

That season protected three straight desirable-10 wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. The Bulldogs all started that memorable season 9-0 before Alabama derailed the journey, which ended with MSU losing three of its final 4 video games.

Mississippi State was blown out the next two years by means of Bama but closed the gap remaining season earlier than dropping 31-24.

"We simply got here up short within the ultimate minute," safeguard Mark McLaurin talked about. "It felt respectable knowing we have been up. things just did not go our approach late, and we did not execute. they are a great group, and we should be well-organized and play for 4 quarters."

Moorhead has raised expectations.

Linebacker Gerri eco-friendly talked about he observed that the first time he met his new instruct.

green and two of his teammates met Moorhead on the airport when he first took the job. the first thing their new instruct instructed them changed into that they essential to understand their ring sizes.

"That let us know that he ability enterprise," green observed. "it really is the classification of man he's. The most effective option to get this is the work ethic behind it. You have to go over and past. That confidence he offers us is extraordinary, and that i believe it will be contagious to our crew."

Mullen didn't leave the cupboard naked.

defensive linemen Jeffrey Simmons and Montez Sweat — who should still each be no-brainers on the preseason All-SEC team when it be introduced Friday — anchor what should still be a stellar defense. Nick Fitzgerald, some of the nation's proper dual-probability quarterbacks, returns to run the offense.

So expectations are sky-excessive.

"for those who're chasing a pretty good software like Alabama and your purpose is to come back to the SEC Championship, you ought to make certain that you're doing things on a regular groundwork which are going to provide you with an opportunity to compete with a team of that caliber," Moorhead stated.

Mississippi State finished forward of Bama on Wednesday.

Now the Bulldogs should locate a means to do it in November.

observe Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.


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