Smith on Sports: Fan Day juices up anticipation for State's season

Danny P. Smith

Staff Writer

It’s now less than a week before the Mississippi State Bulldogs open the 2018 football season and the excitement is beginning to build.

This has become one of the most anticipated seasons in MSU history because of the top 20 ranking and so many players returning from last year's team.

There have been predictions that have the Bulldogs finishing with a record of 8-4, 9-3 and even one for 11-1. I'll give my thoughts toward the end of this column.

On Saturday, there were no prognostications needed at State. It was simply a day to meet and greet the players and new head coach Joe Moorhead at Fan Day activities were held inside the Palmeiro Center. A good crowd entered the doors to get a glimpse of the Bulldogs.

Before preparation for Stephen F. Austin, the first opponent for MSU on Sept. 1, begins in earnest next week, the players were taking time signing posters and having pictures made with the people that stood in long lines seeking that opportunity. Despite it being a little warm inside the Palmeiro Center, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The Bulldogs will be getting down to business after an off day Monday and Moorhead will be getting ready for his debut as head coach.

Last Wednesday, MSU went through its final scrimmage of the preseason and Moorhead was pleased with the game-like situation based on his comments immediately after it was over.

He was anxious to get with his coaching staff to put together a depth chart and the game plan for the first game. The Bulldogs practiced Friday and Saturday morning prior to Fan Day.

While walking around the Palmeiro Center on Saturday, it was hard not to notice the many veterans that are on the MSU squad. Nick Fitzgerald and Aeris Williams on offense to Gerri Green, Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat on defense are just a few on the list. The Bulldogs are experienced and have been through the wars of the Southeastern Conference before even though their new coach hasn't.

That should prove to be a tremendous plus as Moorhead goes into his first season at MSU. He has players to count on and won't let him down.

If the Bulldogs play up to their talent level and potential, there shouldn't be any reason they can't at least finish the season at 9-3 and be invited to a pretty nice bowl game.

Injuries and other circumstances may cause that projected record to be adjusted a little during the course of the season, but MSU still has a chance to enjoy some good times this fall.

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.