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Game Preview: Mississippi State (23) vs Florida

As Dan Mullen makes his return to Starkville, here is everything you need to know about tonight’s game

Mississippi State v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Bulldogs return to Starkville to right the ship after a disappointing week four loss to Kentucky last week. The daunting schedule remaining for Mississippi State is both a curse and a blessing. Nothing will be handed to this team, but if they do go on a run they should find themselves in the playoffs at the end of it. These are three key to today’s game.

Key Number 1- The Passing Game.

Nick Fitzgerald has to be better through the air. Fitzgerald is completing just 51.3% of his passes and averaging a lowly 180.6 yards per game. In last weeks matchup, the Bulldogs averaged just 4.5 yards per pass. Plain and simple, Fitzgerald need to be more accurate and more affective.

Mississippi State v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Key Number 2- Win in the trenches.

Kentucky dominated Mississippi State last week in the trenches. The Wildcats averaged a staggering 4.9 yards per carry to an embarrassing 2.0 yards per carry for The Bulldogs. If you question play calling last week, you’ve got to ask what you would call when your completing only 50% of your passing and rushing for 2.0 yards a carry. To get beaten in the run game on both sides of the ball so soundly may just be the most discouraging aspect to last Saturdays loss.

Mississippi State v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Key Number 3- Continue to dominate defensively on third down.

Let’s end this on a positive note, sound good? Even in defeat, the Bulldogs held Kentucky to 3-of-11 on third downs. On the season, they are allowing opposing offenses to convert at just a percentage of .245. That’s good enough for seventh in the nation. In general, getting off the field on third down translates into good things. Mississippi State needs to keep that rolling.

Obviously, Dan Mullen’s return is a big story line today. And had Mississippi State won last week, it may have been more of a topic of discussion. But given last weeks loss, the only thing on Mississippi State’s mind should be getting back to winning football. No matter where you look, Mississippi State is favored by about a touchdown today (6.5-8 points). Last week may have shaken some faith, but tonight is a good time to win big and make a statement. Kickoff is tonight at 6:00 PM on ESPN.

Final Prediction-

Mississippi State- 28

Florida- 20

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Poll

Where is your current confidence in this team?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Title contenders
    (2 votes)
  • 45%
    Will make and win a good bowl game
    (5 votes)
  • 27%
    Confidence is shaken
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    Hitting the big red panic button
    (1 vote)
11 votes total Vote Now