STARKVILLE, Miss. — A battle between the Mississippi State Bulldogs (1-2) and the No. 11 Texas A&M Aggies (2-1) is on tap for Saturday at 3 p.m. CT inside Davis Wade Stadium.
The Southeastern Conference showdown will be televised by ESPN. It was originally slated for SEC Network, but it will slide over to ESPN with the LSU at Florida game being postponed to Dec. 12 due to positive COVID-19 tests among the Florida Gators football program.
The Bulldogs own a 7-6 all-time record against the Aggies. State has won four of the last six meetings with Texas A&M, including the last three games played in Starkville. Unranked Bulldog teams upset ranked Aggie teams in three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2018. The Aggies topped the Bulldogs 49-30 in 2019.
Head coach Mike Leach owns a 7-3 all-time record against Texas A&M, which is his second-most wins against any team. A 10-0 record against Baylor is his top mark.
Mississippi State enters the contest after a 24-2 road loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. Quarterback K.J. Costello completed 36 of 55 passes for 232 yards and four interceptions. Freshman quarterback Will Rogers, who made his debut in the game, completed 9 of 15 passes for 43 yards and two interceptions.
Senior running back Kylin Hill caught a school-record 15 passes at Kentucky to tie Eric Moulds’ performance at Tennessee on Sept. 23, 1995. Hill turned the 15 receptions into 79 yards receiving.
Hill leads the team with 23 receptions for 237 yards receiving and a touchdown, while senior wide receiver Osirus Mitchell has hauled in 14 catches for a team-high 247 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
The Bulldog defense, which has held every opponent to fewer than 100 yards rushing, is led by senior linebacker Erroll Thompson, who has recorded 28 tackles and a sack. Sophomore linebacker Aaron Brule is No. 2 in tackles with 20. A trio of safeties in senior Fred Peters, sophomore Shawn Preston Jr. and junior Marcus Murphy have recorded 18 tackles, 16 tackles and 16 tackles, respectively.
Texas A&M comes into the game fresh off a 41-38 upset win over the then-No. 4 Florida Gators. Senior quarterback Kellen Mond passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. He became Texas A&M’s all-time leader in career passing yards and earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week honors. On the year, he has completed 67 of 107 passes for 845 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.
Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller totaled 174 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the contest. Spiller ranks third in the SEC with 316 yards rushing.
Senior linebacker Buddy Johnson has led the Texas A&M defense in tackles in each of the team’s three games, and has totaled 30 tackles.
The ESPN broadcast will include Dave Neal (play-by-play), D.J. Shockley (analyst) and sideline reporter Dawn Davenport.