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Mississippi State (#18) At Kansas State Preview

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The Dawgs are on the road in Manhattan, Kansas as they take on the Wildcats at 11 AM CT

NCAA Football: Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The now 1-0, number 18 ranked Bulldogs, head on the road for the first time this season to north-east Kansas to take on the 1-0 Kansas State Wildcats. Mississippi State is coming off of a drubbing of Stephen F. Austin, and the Wildcats squeaked by the South Dakota Coyotes. Saturday’s game will be a sizable step up for the Bulldogs, both in an opponent and atmosphere. Currently, Westgate has Mississippi State as seven point favorites, which makes Kansas State a dangerous home dog. The Bulldogs are getting Fitzgerald back off of his team suspension, and they are in the midst of an important four game stretch, where they need to go 4-0 before taking on three straight ranked opponents. There’s still a lot to learn about these two teams, but here are the key factors for the matchup.

NCAA Football: Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
  • Moorehead’s Passing Attack- In 2017, Mississippi State threw for an average of 166.9 yards per game. In the 2018 opener, the Bulldogs threw for 398 yards. Not only did they accumulate a lot of yards on SFA’s defense, they were able to make chunk plays all night. Moorehead’s receiving core ended up with four guys who averaged over 30 yards per reception. Kansas State allowed 257 yards to South Dakota last week, and they should have their hands full tomorrow.
  • Pass Rush- In a game where the Bulldogs only allowed six points, it’s hard to nitpick too much, but here we go. This defensive line racked up four sacks last week. In it of itself, a four sack game is all well and good. However, given the different levels of the two divisions, expecting more out of this super talented front seven is not unfair. Kansas State did give up three sacks last week, and if that number goes up this week, it spells trouble for the Wildcats. With the exception of Montez Sweat, the Bulldogs will be looking for more pressure from the other guys in that group.
NCAA Football: Stephen F. Austin at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
  • Turnovers- Mississippi State turned over the ball once last week against SFA. Taking the ball away is almost as important as QB pressure on the road, and should be a point of emphasis this week especially given that Kansas coughed up the ball four times last week.

Final Prediction- With the return of Nick Fitzgerald, we should see another big passing night and some added explosiveness in the ground game. The defense should put together a second big week with a sprinkle of added game impact plays. Mississippi State will win, will cover, and will be on to LA-Lafayette.

Poll

Does Mississippi State cover the 7-point spread?

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  • 81%
    Yes
    (72 votes)
  • 18%
    No
    (16 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now