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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Carter: A glimpse into the Bulldogs’ 2023 football season

Mississippi+States+Jordan+Davis+at+the+spring+game.
Madelyn Sykes | The Reflector
Mississippi State’s Jordan Davis at the spring game.

‘Tis the season for the unmistakable sound of cowbells ringing and fans roaring for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. College football has arrived.
This is a new age for Mississippi State University football. The 2022 season took as many unexpected twists and turns as possible. The Bulldogs celebrated wins, but they also suffered through losses  on and off the field.
Previously the defensive coordinator, Zach Arnett will soon begin his first season as Mississippi State’s head coach. As a first-year head coach in the toughest conference in college football, Arnett has definitely secured the “so far, so good” status  I mean, he is currently the only undefeated head coach in the league with his recent bowl game win.
A solid 2023 recruiting class, along with many strong returns and transfers, made for a promising off-season. Even so, nobody is expecting a seamless transition into the new season. However, Head Coach Arnett’s confidence is leaving everyone quite optimistic for what is to come.
Arnett stood at the podium at the 2023 SEC Media Days and spoke proudly about his Mississippi State Bulldogs.
“Mississippi State University is a special place,” Arnett said. “They deserve to have a football team who is ready to line up and compete and who’s prepared to win some football games. That’s what our job is to do. So, let’s get to work, let’s lineup and play some football.”
Change is inevitable, and Mississippi State is no stranger to overcoming it. With new offensive coordinator Kevin Barbay, the offense will look different this year. Although iconic, Mike Leach’s Air Raid tactic will be taken over, and the Bulldogs’ success will depend on their ability to adapt to Barbay’s playbook.
The Bulldogs’ defense might just be their secret to success this season. With head coach Arnett recently holding the defensive coordinator position, Matt Brock taking his place and the returning defensive talent, the defense has high hopes of being a consistent stronghold for MSU.
Even with the unforeseen circumstances faced by Mississippi State, both sides of the ball still have the potential and the talent to prove the skeptics wrong, as long as the Bulldogs are willing to adapt. Head coach Arnett surely seems to think his Bulldogs have what it takes.
“When you line up against Mississippi State football, you better bring your lunchbox and hard hat, because it’s going to be a physical game,” Arnett said.
Not only is the coaching staff looking forward to this 2023 season, but seemingly, so are the fans. Mississippi State had more than 40,000 season tickets for this fall, and they have officially sold out.
It goes without saying that selling out of such a large allotment of season tickets is definitely a confidence booster for the Bulldogs.  
“You see the season tickets are sold out, and I think you see the reaction by the fanbase, right? They love and support those players,” Arnett said. “Those guys who go to work every day and are proud to wear the Maroon and White and go play like they do, I think our fanbase wants to come out and celebrate those guys.” 
The Bulldogs will kick off the season this Saturday with high temperatures and even higher hopes as they host Southeastern Louisiana in the beloved Davis Wade Stadium.
So, pack your lunchbox and grab your hard hat, because Mississippi State football is back.

About the Contributor
Aubrey Carter, Managing Editor
Aubrey Carter is a junior communication major with a concentration in broadcast & digital journalism from Birmingham, Alabama. She currently serves as the Managing Editor and served as the Sports Editor from 2023 to 2024. [email protected]
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Carter: A glimpse into the Bulldogs’ 2023 football season