We're less than a week away from the start of another season of Mississippi State football! In the second year under Joe Moorhead, Penn State graduate transfer Tommy Stevens will take over as starting quarterback. Stevens will look to lead the Bulldogs to a successful season alongside returning stars Kylin Hill, Erroll Thompson, Cam Dantzler, and more.
For once, there doesn't appear to be any major changes to Mississippi State's standard uniform set this season. As always, there are some small tweaks, which will be detailed below. Additionally, it appears that State will once again have multiple "one-off" alternate uniforms in 2019. Last season was an anomaly in that only one alternate was worn; this season, the Bulldogs will have at least two alternates, matching the total from 2016 and 2017, and potentially even three.
Another detail I noticed from Fan Day is that the players with the newer collar also have a slightly different name on back font. The new font is similar in width, but features serifs on some letters, whereas the 2018 font was completely sans-serif. You can get a glimpse of the new font in this picture from Rhett Hobart; compare the lack of serifs on the "E" in Logan Burnett's older jersey to the presence of serifs on the "E" in Tommy Stevens' newer jersey. For a better look at the newer font, take a look at the Miami Hurricanes' uniforms; they appear to be using the same one.
It is unclear as to whether the white jerseys will feature the updated collar and/or NOB font. If I had to guess, I would think it will be a similar deal as with the maroon jerseys, where some players will have the newer jerseys while some keep the 2018 version. We'll find out pretty soon, as the Bulldogs will be the "away" team against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns in the Superdome this Saturday.
The uniforms feature white numbers (the second black jerseys in program history to do so, along with the 2016 stars and stripes uniforms) and will be paired with the matte maroon helmets. This will be the first time that State has worn the Matte/Black/Black combo since 2015; the Bulldogs wore silver helmets with the black uniforms in 2016 and 2017 and did not wear black in 2018.
We'll have to see how they look on the field to be sure, but at first glance these appear to be far and away the best black football uniforms State has ever worn. A solid, consistent, AND meaningful design. State's previous black alternates have generally had at least one of those qualities, but never all three.
In 2015, the gold accents were ditched, and it was the right move at the time, just like adding them in 2011 was. In the 2015 Egg Bowl, Mississippi State wore white helmets, maroon jerseys, and white pants in their first Egg Bowl loss in Starkville since 2003. In 2016, Mississippi State rolled over the Rebels in Oxford, winning 55-20 in all-white. In 2017, the Egg Bowl finally had a super traditional uniform matchup, with State in Maroon/Maroon/Gray and Ole Miss in Navy/White/Gray. Sadly, the best Egg Bowl uniform matchup in years was tainted by Nick Fitzgerald's ankle injury and Ole Miss' subsequent win. Most recently, in a slick White/White/Gray combo in 2018, Mississippi State got revenge and won 35-3 over the one of the worst SEC defenses of all time.
So, since the gold accented uniforms were first introduced in 2011, Mississippi State is 2-0 at home with gold and 0-2 at home without gold. Conversely, State is 0-2 on the road with gold but but 2-0 on the road without gold. If you're even a little stitious, you'd draw the conclusion that State should wear the gold accents in Starkville Egg Bowls but stick with traditional uniforms (preferably with white helmets) in Oxford Egg Bowls. By bringing back gold for the home 2019 Egg Bowl, it appears that those in charge at Mississippi State may in fact be a bit superstitious.
The design of the 2019 Egg Bowl jerseys appears to be pretty straightforward, with a maroon base, gold numbers, and gold double stripes on the sleeves, mirroring the current standard jersey design. The only twist is the black fade on the sleeves and around the state outline on the back. The presence of black on this uniform is interesting and seems unnecessary. Its presence on the uniform could range from unnoticeable to detrimental; I don't see any way it will improve the uniform, but I'm waiting to see the actual uniform before passing judgement.
Overall, I don't have any big problems with these Egg Bowl jerseys. The color balance is pretty similar to the 2013 versions, which are popular among fans, albeit mostly because of the fact that they were worn in a really fun Mississippi State victory. How the overall uniform compares to the 2011 and 2013 versions will depend on the helmets and pants designs, which have yet to be revealed. If the pants are solid maroon with gold Adidas and M-State logo and the helmets are the matte helmets with gold facemasks and decals, I think it will be a solid look. There's always the chance that a new helmet will be introduced, like the chrome gold ones were in 2013, but it's just as likely that one of the current helmets will be worn with new decals. Time will tell.
First, the LSU game is noted as a "pink game", which makes sense, as it is the only home game in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Expect players to wear pink accessories for that game.
Second, the Alabama game is listed as the 2019 "Military Appreciation" game. The past three seasons, State has worn a one-off uniform honoring the Military in some fashion. The designs have gotten better each year, with the 2016 one being, in my opinion, the worst football uniform Mississippi State has ever worn, while the 2018 Statesman uniform is nearly universally considered State's best alternate uniform ever. With that in mind, it seems very possible that State could do a special military themed uniform for the fourth season in a row.
However, with alternates already being worn against Kentucky and Ole Miss, the idea of a third one-off uniform being worn against Alabama seems less likely. That doesn't mean it's not happening. I have heard rumblings of another specially designed helmet similar to the Statesman helmet from last season. Such a helmet could be a surprise for the TK Martin or Egg Bowl uniforms, but would most likely be for the Alabama game. Though a special helmet would be most likely be worn with an accompanying alternate uniform, it's possible they could just wear it with the regular uniforms. It's also possible that, like other teams have, State could just wear an American-flag themed design on one of the regular helmets for the Alabama game. I would hope we don't go that route, though; it can end up looking really bad.
TL;DR: Mississippi State will, for the most part, keep their very solid standard football uniforms for the 2019 season. State will wear the CFB 150 patch, and some players will have an updated collar design and name on back font. The Bulldogs will have at least two alternate uniforms: a black uniform recognizing the TK Martin Center that will be worn against Kentucky, and a gold-accented Egg Bowl uniform that will be worn against Ole Miss. There is also the possibility of a military-themed alternate helmet and/or uniform being worn against Alabama.
It should be another fun season in Starkville this fall! Can't wait for thing to get kicked off. Hail State.