This is the 3rd article in a series that I have started, in which I pick the team playing in a can't win situation, and give five reasons why they will win. So far I have written "Why LSU will own the Gator's" and "Why Arkansas will go Hog Wild in the Swamp". Unfortunately for myself, the LSU, and Arkansas faithful they lost, however I was dead on in the Arkansas game and if it had not been for will just say "questionable" penalties Arkansas may have won. Why is that or any of the other stuff important well because you know what they say 3rd time is a charm, and in a game where the Bulldogs will need a lot of luck it's just a little more.
5. Ball Security
Now Bulldog fans know better than anybody that ball security can cost you a game or 30, but the good news is the Gators haven't mastered holding on to the ball either. The Gators had four turnovers against Arkansas, and two of those were by Tim Tebow. Now if Mississippi State can hold on to the football (which is a big IF) and Florida continues to have troubles this could be a fun game for the Bulldogs.
4. The Offense
Now this could be a bad thing for Miss. St. given the opponent, but Miss. St. has improved dramatically on offense this year. Their Defense could not stop air this year, but at least Miss. St. has made huge strides on Offense. I premised this as it could be a bad thing because Urban Myer and Charlie Strong are very familiar with the offense Miss St. runs. However Dan Mullen knows that and the system has been tweaked this year to accommodate for the personnel so it should not matter. The hope here is that Miss. St. can score on a Florida team that faces very little spread action other than in practice, and Gator fans that D of yours faces a Scout Team that is not running the Spread every day. If Dixon, Lee, and Bumphis can get anything going they stand a puncher's chance.
3. The State Of Mississippi
Historically this has not been the ideal state for the Florida Gators. They have a losing record when playing in the state of Mississippi. I won't mention the team, Bulldog faithful, but even last year Florida's lone loss was to a team from this state. I don't really believe in superstition or trends, but I do believe in home field advantage and in this case Home STATE advantage as well. Against teams from the state of Mississippi the Gators are 42-30 with over 20 of the losses’ coming inside the state of Mississippi. Hey it might not be much but history has a nasty habit of repeating itself.
2. Nothing to lose
Mississippi has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain in this matchup. Florida has SEC Title and National Title contentions on the line, not to mention recruiting. Think about it Mississippi produces gobs of D-1 talent that other school's swoop in and snag think what a win could do to keep that talent in the state. Dan Mullen understands this better than anyone and he will pull out all the stops for this showdown. A win here would do wonders for this coach and this university to build on, but a loss would not hurt Miss. St. at all. Everyone and their brother expect Miss. St. to get blown out in this game including the Florida Gators. I know this is a stretch, but upsets happen all the time App St, Boise St, La Monroe, Stanford, and from out in left field Buster Douglas. If you don't think anyone can beat anybody on any given day go watch the Tyson/Douglas fight.
1. Dan Mullen
I said earlier that this defense could not stop air, and I still stand by that statement. However if there is one offense that Dan Mullen knows better than anyone in the country it’s the one Florida runs. He knows Tim Tebow better than Urban Myer does, he knows both Tim and Urbans tendencies, and most importantly he knows how they think. If you don't think a departed Coordinator can take down a top flight coach at National Title contending school go talk to Pete Carol. Steve Sark beat Pete earlier this year in a very similar situation. USC and Florida are very comparable just as Washington and Mississippi State are. This game should give hope to Mississippi State and show them that at home with a great crowd and a good coach anything is possible.
If nothing else I can assure Miss St. will put on the better Halftime show courtesy of their feature twirler L.C. Holt (my little cousin). So in closing I would like to wish Mississippi State luck as it attempts to knock off the Florida Gators. It is highly improbable that it will happen but not impossible. One last Thing State fans that you have going in your favor is that in over 100 years of playing Football Florida has never had an undefeated season. Good Luck you will need all of it you can get.