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SMITH COLUMN: MSU football only a month away from starting

July 31, 2012

Smith

It's now only one month and counting before Mississippi State begins the 2012 football season.

Only one month before fans from all over the state arrive on campus with cowbells in hand to support the Bulldogs as they host the Jackson State Tigers on Sept. 1.

Only one month before the Famous Maroon Band makes its march around Davis Wade Stadium prior to the game and creates some of the sounds that make the atmosphere special at MSU. There will also be a Sonic Boom in town as Jackson State's band brings its unique presentation to Starkville.

Only one month before the people get to enjoy what makes living in this country so great.

It's difficult to get away from the thought lately of having the freedom to attend sporting events such as college football games in a Southeastern Conference football town because we live in the United States.

When there are patriotic holidays such as Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Flag Day or others, there's a sense of pride that swells inside. That's one of the reasons the Olympics in London captures my attention when one of America's athletes competes. We should want our country to come back with as many medals as possible.

As those athletes continue to try and fulfill their dreams, there are many more here at home who are getting ready to find success of their own.

College and high school teams for fall sports such as football, softball, soccer and volleyball are getting ready for its seasons. Some have already started to play.

The Bulldogs report for football duty today and begin preseason practice on Thursday.

MSU looks to improve on last year's 7-6 record and reach a postseason bowl game for the third consecutive season.

The Bulldogs have three of their first four games at home with Jackson State, Auburn on Sept. 8 and South Alabama on Sept. 22. They travel to Troy on Sept. 15.

After the first four games, there should be some indication of what direction MSU's season is headed. The Bulldogs have an opportunity to win all four of those games or at least be 3-1 with the encounter against SEC Western Division opponent Auburn being a key to that.

MSU has quite a bit of talent coming back with a strong receiving group of Arceto Clark, Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith for quarterback Tyler Russell. On defense, the secondary appears to be the strength with Corey Broomfield, Nickoe Whitley and former East Webster player Johnthan Banks.

It's going to be interesting to see if one of those players or someone else emerges as leaders for the Bulldogs.

Again, it's only a one month wait to start finding out.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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