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Purdum’s Prudent Perceptions: Previewing Mississippi State at Texas A&M

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What will it take for Mississippi State to prevail over the Aggies?

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Well strap yourselves in because here we go again….our Mississippi St. Bulldogs are on the road in the SEC this weekend to play the Texas A&M Aggies. Our previous two adventures outside “Our State” in the SEC resulted in blowout losses of 28 and 39 points. Not great. However, these losses were against, at the time top 15, currently Top 5 and top 20 teams. Texas A&M is not Georgia nor Auburn. By that, I mean they have not looked that impressive this season as a whole. Sure, they are 5-2 and gave Alabama a good game a couple weeks ago but I am not convinced. I think MSU has a very good chance to steal one in College Station this weekend and here is why:

ZERO Run Stopping Ability

Texas A&M by my standards is still a Big 12 team playing SEC football, meaning let’s try and score as many points as possible and hope the other team makes mistakes on offense so we do not have to play sound defense. They have been especially susceptible to the run game this year in SEC play.

In their 4 SEC games (Ark, USC, Bama, and Florida), they have given up an average of 193 yds/game. Now these are not the best offenses in the SEC by any means with 3 of those teams ranking in the bottom half of the SEC in rushing yards per game. You want to take a guess at who does rank in the top 3 though? #alwaysrunneverpass

Grantham Effect

In past trips to College Station, the MSU defense has been torched by the A&M offense with skilled playmakers and a solid passing QB to hit them down the field. This is not those A&M teams. Kellen Mond is a great offensive prospect who has done very well in his first year as starter, as a freshman none the less.

However, passing is not his current strength. He is a very gifted and tough runner of the football who prefers to make plays with his feet and not his arm. Grantham should feast on this knowledge; as our front seven, especially Sweat, Harris, Green, Simmons, should be in his grill all night. Sound defense and gang tackling should limit the big plays he can create and get the ball into the hands of our offense regularly.

No Turnovers

In all three of Texas A&M’s SEC wins this year they have generated a turnover. Texas A&M won all of these games by a TD or less. One mistake is all it took for A&M to salvage a win in 3 games.

If Nicky Fitz can avoid shooting from the hip and our RBs/QB can protect the ball between the tackles, I see no reason we should not be able to pound A&M into submission by the end of the 3rd quarter. They will rely on turnovers and big momentum swings at home to beat us, so don’t give them any. Live to punt and see another day. Logan Cooke has been money all year, let him pin them deep and control the field.

I see no reason that the Dawgs can’t walk into Kyle Field as underdogs and walk out with a win. Stick to the plan that worked against the likes of Kentucky and LSU. Be smart, stay focused, keep your head on a swivel, and don’t get cute with it. We are the more physical team and should show them that early. Mount up Dawgs, let’s get a road SEC W for a change.