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Mississippi State's breakout season rides on the shoulders of Tyler Russell.
Russell is the golden ticket. With most of the offense returning, including Gabe Jackson and LaDarius Perkins, 2013 is undoubtedly the make or break season for Dan Mullen.
But this is the SEC West. No wins are guaranteed when LSU, Alabama, Manziel's Texas A&M and a resurgent Ole Miss take the field.
But maybe the Bulldogs can compete if Russell plays like AJ McCarron did last season for Alabama. Russell threw for 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and though that's not a 10:1 ratio like McCarron, that's still great numbers.
However, unlike McCarron, Russell had his worst performances of the year with the lights shining brightest. Against LSU, Alabama and Northwestern, Russell threw three touchdowns and six interceptions. Many expect Russell to build off of last season's strong year, but the pressure of winning the SEC West is his eventual demise.