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Q&A: Talking Mississippi State with For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

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As part of our ongoing public service to bring you, the Razorback fan, the best and most in-depth information about the Hogs and their opponents, we like to invite our fellow bloggers over to our little corner of the Internet to give us the scoop on their teams.

This week, we're pleased to present the insights of Jeremy Flint from the Mississippi State blog For Whom the Cowbell Tolls. Many thanks to him for his time...now read on for all the details:

1. How do Mississippi State fans feel about the job Dan Mullen is doing? What are the expectations for next season and beyond? 

Coach Mullen has done a great job with the Bulldogs in his first year, and most fans would agree. There are always the naysayers that won't be happy with anything that happens, good or bad, but those are few and far between right now. Most fans still curse Croom for leaving a team with so little talent.

That being said, what Mullen has been able to do with the team this year is nothing short of incredible. He is calling the right plays and putting the team in the best position to win, despite who they are up against. Who would have thought that we would be 1/2 a yard away from defeating LSU for the first time in a decade. Considering our schedule this year and the caliber of opponents, we have had a pretty good season and still have a chance to make it to a bowl game.

I think the expectation is high for next season. We have some good freshmen that have come in and made huge contributions already, and some that are waiting in the wings for their time to shine (Tyler Russell being one of those).

2. How excited is Anthony Dixon to go up against the Arkansas defense? How many yards will he gain?

With the Hogs giving up 130+ yards on the ground, Dixon has to be pumped about playing on Saturday. Combine that with the weakness on pass defense, that will give us a chance for a balanced attack and keep the defense from stacking the box to shut down the run.

I am looking for Dixon to have a big game with 100+ yards easy.

3. Besides Dixon, which Bulldog players (on offense and defense) will Arkansas fans be cursing on Saturday?

On offense, watch out for Leon Berry. He is a JUCO transfer playing wide receiver, but he really shines on special teams, putting us in good field position on kick and punt returns.

True freshman Chad Bumphis is another rising star at receiver. He has great speed and good hands and finds any way possible to make a play.

On defense, freshmand Jonathan Banks has made a splash with 2 interceptions against Florida - 1 for 100 yards. That was only his second start of the season. He is working some magic in the secondary.

Closer to the trenches, keep an eye on Pernell McPhee. This guy is a monster at right tackle and plays hard every down. Jamar Chaney and K. J. Wright keep things under control at linebacker as well.

4. In a general sense, what are the Bulldogs' strongest suits? What about weak spots?

Our secondary is definitely a weakness. We lost a lot of speed back there when Derek Pegues and Keith Fitzhugh graduated in 2008. On offense, Tyson Lee is an experienced quarterback but his size has been an issue all season. He is only 5-10, and can sometimes barely see over the O-line. It seems like he tosses passes up hoping that the receivers can go up and grab them.

5. Finally, what's your prediction for the game?

I think the Hogs will jump ahead early with their offensive power, but the Bulldogs will keep it close with tough defensive play and a punishing run-based offensive attack. This could be the year we finally win one in Arkansas, but it will be close. I am going to put on my Maroon-shaded spectacles and call it for the Bulldogs by a field goal.