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Preseason AP Poll released, MSU ranked 18th

Photo by News Mississippi

The College Football season is less than two weeks ago, and Mississippi State has received their highest preseason ranking since 1981. 

The first AP Poll for the 2018 season has been released and the Bulldogs come in at #18. This is the same ranking that they received in the Amway Preseason Coaches Poll earlier this month.

As you may have guessed, the Crimson Tide of Alabama has claimed the top spot in the poll with Clemson behind them at #2. Georgia, Wisconsin and Ohio State round out the top 5.

With 12 days remaining before their week-one matchup with Stephen F. Austin, Joe Moorhead’s Bulldogs held a scrimmage on Saturday, and the first-year head coach was pleased with the effort level. 

“It was like a 15-round heavyweight bout,” he said. “Offense having its moments, defense having its moments. We worked on all the phases on special teams. We got a ton of work done, so I was very pleased. It was exactly where we needed to be. Was the precision there? No, but another positive step in the right direction.”

Moorhead came to MSU after rejuvenating the offense at Penn State in 2017. Upon arrival in Starkville back in November, Moorhead was tasked with installing his system and fine-tuning it to compete in the SEC West. Now that August is coming to a close, Moorhead says that while everything has gone smoothly, there are still things left to be ironed out. 

“The progression of the installation and taking the information from the meeting room to the field, the kids are executing at a high level. This is as good as any first-time installation – offensively, defensively and special teams – that I have been around. I’m very optimistic, but I’m glad we still have two more weeks to prepare,” Moorhead said.

The Bulldogs return 18 starters from last year’s team that finished 9-4 and capped the season off with a bowl win over Louisville. 

Headlining the returning players are QB Nick Fitzgerald, RB Aries Williams, DE Jeffrey Simmons, DE Montez Sweat, and S Mark McLaurin. 

Kickoff in the Bulldogs season opener is set for 6:30 p.m. 

The full top 25 can be seen below.

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Ohio State
  6. Washington
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Miami
  9. Auburn
  10. Penn State
  11. Michigan State
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Stanford
  14. Michigan
  15. USC
  16. TCU
  17. West Virginia
  18. Mississippi State
  19. Florida State
  20. Virginia Tech
  21. UCF
  22. Boise State
  23. Texas
  24. Oregon
  25. LSU

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