Coming Attractions: MSU at Vanderbilt
Sept. 18, 2009
The A-List--Noteworthy Mississippi State players:
Anthony Dixon, junior running back
The Bulldog offense lives and dies through Dixon, who is not only their workhorse out of the backfield but is also the team's most imposing offensive force. After sitting out Mississippi State's opener, he looked sharp in his personal 2009 debut, rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown against Auburn. If Vanderbilt can contain him, it should be a long day for the Bulldogs.
Tyson Lee (senior) and Chris Relf (redshirt sophomore), quarterbacks
Head coach Dan Mullen is employing a two-quarterback system to start the season with Lee, the incumbent, sharing snaps under center with Relf, who leads to Bulldogs in rushing so far this season. The pair has been solid if unspectacular thus far, but must rebound from a collective subpar performance against Auburn through the air (11-21, 130 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) to give themselves a chance against Vanderbilt's talented--if depleted--secondary.
K.J. Wright, junior linebacker
Wright put together a breakout campaign as a sophomore for the Bulldogs, registering 72 tackles (second on the team) and pacing Mississippi State with four sacks. He has been impressive so far this season with 10 total tackles (2 for a loss) and a sack, and if Vanderbilt wants to walk away with a W, their offensive line needs to make sure Wright stays away from Smith.
Heath Hutchins, junior punter
If this game turns into a field position battle, the Bulldogs have a weapon in Hutchins. The JUCO transfer has been phenomenal thus far, averaging 46.1 yards on eight punts for the defensive-minded club. A solid return game by Alex Washington would help the Commodores negate Hutchins's effectiveness.