The Mississippi Fire Dogs ran away from the competition last season, claiming the N-I-F-L title beating Wyoming 55 to 21 in the Championship game in the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in August. The win completed an outstanding season with 17 wins in 18 games.
The Fire Dogs are back on the practice field with a number of holes to fill.. especially on the offensive line, but head coach Irvin Favre and company are doing their best to shore-up a critical area. Quarterbacks need time to setup the passing game and quality offensive linemen are a necessity.
Veteran quarterback Stu Rayburn is back. Last season the 6-4 219 pound Kent State graduate completed 97 of 124 passes for 1-thousand-43 yards and 18 touchdowns.. adding 8 rushing TD's.
He knows opposing teams have set their sights on the Mississippi Fire Dogs.
Stu Rayburn said, "I have attended two league meetings and the feeling I got was that they need to knock number one off. I met some of the new teams coming into the league, the Tennessee Thunder Cats and the Winston Salem Energy and they know that the Fire Dogs are back-to-back champions and we feel that everybody will be coming after us. We've got a challenge ahead of us."
The Fire Dogs open the 2002 season on the road at Alexandria, Louisiana this coming Saturday before returning home the the Dog Pound hosting the Tupelo Fire Ants on March 30th.