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Mississippi State vs Stephen F. Austin Preview

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Here’s a quick overview to get you game day ready.

TaxSlayer Bowl - Mississippi State v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Mississippi State’s season will be underway in less than two days by the time you are reading this article. And, by midnight on Saturday, they will have rolled to a 1-0 opening to their season. Even with the recent news of Nick Fitzgerald’s suspension for the opener, Stephen F. Austin’s chances remain at nil for Saturday. Here’s the quick overview to get you game day ready.

At this moment, Vegas insider has no line posted, which may be because of the Fitzgerald suspension. However, oddshark.com has the Bulldogs winning 45-0. Obviously, it’s always a bit of David vs. Goliath story when FBS and FCS schools clash, especially when the former is the home team. With that said, with Mississippi State coming off of a 9-4 season, and Stephen F. Austin coming off of a 4-7 season, even if they were in the same division, they’d be in two different classes. With Mississippi State coming in ranked 18th, and coming off of a season with the 10th ranked defense, it’s hard to imagine SFA getting on the board, much less making this game.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Texas A&M
Jamal Peters
John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Look, you should be excited football is back, but admittedly, this one is hard to get invested in. So, what can be taken away from this game? There are three key things to look at and measure from this game. First, look to the passing game. Fitzgerald averaged just 23.8 pass attempts per game last season and Joe Moorehead is known for big passing offenses. Now, this may be harder to tell with Fitzgerald being out, but if the pass attempts are up with Thompson on Saturday, that should be an indication of a change in offensive strategy. Secondly, what does this defensive line do on Saturday? Anchored by Jeffery Simmons, this d-line is expected to be a strength of this team. Good teams take care of the teams they are supposed to beat. If they pin their ears back and cause mayhem all day and lead the defense to a shootout, this will be a good sign. Lastly, how aggressive will Moorehead be? We all know there are style points in the ranking system. If the Bulldogs are really playoff contenders, Moorhead will keep the teams foot on the pedal.

All-in-all, come Sunday morning, we may not know a ton more about the 2018 Bulldogs. It’s probably fair to say, this is an almost no win situation for them. If they win, they were supposed to. If it’s anything short of a blowout, it’s a failure. Expect the Bulldogs to walk in this one, 52-0. We’ll see you in week two.

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