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Mississippi State X-factors: Texas A&M Edition

The Bulldogs return home to take on the Aggies, as two x-factors must put forth their game changing ability.

Auburn v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Following a more than bitter loss to LSU, Mississippi State awaits a matchup with Texas A&M at home. The 16th ranked Aggies boast an experienced bunch with depth, as the Bulldogs must set the tone early. While Mississippi State is also experienced, they are also deep. But two x-factors are sure to turn the tide and create a seismic shift when their number is called.

On defense, Gerri Green, a highly underrated lineman with a multifaceted skillset, is arguably the face of the group up front. With 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks, Green’s numbers don’t jump off the board, but he knows when to show up. That said, Green’s leadership and ability to galvanize the defense is his most valuable attribute.

Texas A&M v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

We all know the Aggies’ offense starts on the ground with running back Trayveon Williams. Green, along with fellow edge rusher Montez Sweat will have to contain him. Green has a nose for the ball and a nonstop motor that should give Williams fits. Look for Green to shine and perhaps have his best game statistically.

Offensively, running back Kylin Hill must be the focal point. When given the opportunity, Hill has made the most of it. He has shown flashes and tremendous promise so far, as he deserves more touches.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The sophomore from Columbus, MS has averaged 6.8 yards per carry. In addition, he has 516 yards on 76 attempts, having found the end zone three times. But Hill has also proven his worth as a receiver, having averaged 9.4 yards per catch. With 11 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns on the season, look for Hill to be a threat in the passing game come Saturday.

It should be a fairly low scoring game, as the Bulldogs’ defense should dictate the pace. That said, each team is capable of breaking out at any point. Having said that, let’s remember who is playing at home. Home field advantage should play a monumental role, as Mississippi State may just upset the 16th ranked team in the nation.