After one year on the job with a ton of expectations as an offensive genius, Joe Moorhead deserves credit for maintaining what Dan Mullen had built with the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He went 8-5 and reached the top 25 with Mullen’s players, and that counts for something.
However, that was just maintaining what Mullen was already doing. This year, Moorhead is in what is like another first year. He has to replace Nick Fitzgerald at quarterback and a ton of other talent, which is why despite doing better than Jeremy Pruitt last year, expectations are for a reverse to happen this year.
Moorhead’s game at Tennessee football is somewhat of a bellwether game for his program and the Vols because of all that. We don’t know the leaps the Bulldogs will make in Moorhead’s second year, if any, and we don’t know if UT takes a step forward under Pruitt.
What’s clear, though, is this will be a great clash between two second-year head coaches in the SEC when taking all of this into account. Moorhead could really raise his profile if he is successful this year with so much young talent. Until then, though, winning one year with talent Mullen molded is all he’s got.