The Bulldogs had a great season last year, going to a bowl for the first time since 2000. The defense led the way, making up for an anemic offense.
You can now put Ed Ogeron in the category of “Croomed” with Mike Shula and Ron Zook. The Bulldogs beat Alabama for the second year in a row too.
2007 Record: 8-5, 4-4
Ret. Starters: 14
Ret. Lettermen: 47
Off PPG 19.6 (9th), RYPG 116.6 (10th) PYPG 170.4 (9th)
Def PPG 26.9 (5th), RYPG 175.0 (9th) PYPG 185.4 (3rd)
Offense (6 RS, 20 RL)
Wesley Carroll was forced into action after Michael Henig performed poorly in the first half of the year. Carroll will be backed up Josh Riddell who threw two TDs last season.
The main cog in the Bulldogs’ offense will be RB Anthony Dixon, who is coming off a 1,000-yard season. Christian Ducre added 515 and Robert Elliot is an exciting redshirt freshman. This is one of the best RB units in the SEC.
Jamayel Smith is the leading receiver returning but had just 33 catches last season. Co-Eric Riley hopes for a breakout year as a former JC standout. The o-line has to replace three starters, including the dismissed Michael Brown. Philip Freeman, a JUCO transfer, may be the best of the bunch.
Defense (8 RS, 24 RL)
Miss State returns seven of their top eight tacklers from last year, including MLB Jamar Cheney. He is joined by Dominic Douglas at LB, which should be the strength of this defense.
FS Derek Pegues had five interceptions last season and will move from CB. Other than Pegues, the other three secondary starters return.
The d-line will be searching for sacks this year after losing Titus Brown. Two other starters are back but the entire defense brings back just seven sacks.
All four specialists return, including PK Adam Carlson (10-of-13). Pegues will return kicks and punts.