Sound Off: Nick Fitzgerald, revamped defense are Mississippi State’s key factors in 2017

In this debut edition of SEC Country’s Sound Off, Brandon Walker and Roxie Drew Jackson discuss the latest news in the world of Mississippi State football. The Bulldogs are in the midst of fall camp, preparing for the 2017 football season. Entering coach Dan Mullen’s ninth year at MSU, the Bulldogs are enjoying a relatively quiet camp with few distractions or controversies. With the season only a few weeks away, SEC Country’s Brandon Walker and Roxie Drew Jackson talk about the keys to MSU’s upcoming season.

  • Nick Fitzgerald entered the 2016 season locked in a quarterback battle with two others players. Once he took over the starting role in the second week of the season, Fitzgerald led the SEC in total yards and accounted for 36 touchdowns. Now, heading into his junior season, there’s no question that Fitzgerald is the No. 1 quarterback, and how he handles his preseason hype will be crucial for MSU (1:10).
  • Can Fitzgerald be the best quarterback in the SEC? With competition like Jarrett Stidham at Auburn, Austin Allen at Arkansas and Jalen Hurts at Alabama, it will not be easy. But at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Fitzgerald possesses the size and skill to emerge as the league’s best signal caller this year. If he does that, MSU could break into the short list of SEC contenders.
  • To put it mildly, Mississippi State’s defense was terrible in 2016. The Bulldogs finished dead last in passing yards and total yards allowed. Enter Todd Grantham. The veteran defensive coordinator, who has had stints at multiple SEC schools, is the new defensive coordinator, and he brings with him nearly two decades of experience. He also has the luxury of several talented newcomers from both junior college and high school, and how Grantham molds this defense is the most important aspect of MSU’s fall camp (4:00).
  • Playing in the SEC is never easy, but how does MSU’s 2017 schedule affect what happens to the Bulldogs this season? Brandon and Roxie dive into this topic and pick out the most likely upset this season for MSU (5:50).

The post Sound Off: Nick Fitzgerald, revamped defense are Mississippi State’s key factors in 2017 appeared first on SEC Country.

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