Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ag Football Preview: #15 Mississippi State

Mississippi State football is not as renowned on the field as most of it's SEC West rivals but this season they have put together something for the fan base to get excited about.

They were 7-0 and ranked #11 in the BCS rankings going into last weekend's match up against #1 Alabama....but 8-0 was not to be.  Bama dismantled them.

The Bulldogs have one SEC title from back in 1941 and won their division one additional time (1998).  They do not have a strong history of greatness. 

We have two very obvious ties to the school.  They were originally named the Mississippi A&M Aggies until they were nicknamed the Maroons and later the Bulldogs.  The other is that we shared a head coach in Jackie Sherrill.  Jackie took over the program in 1991 and coached in Starkville for 13 years and left as the winningest coach in school history.
They play their games in Davis Wade Stadium, which we visited on our trip last weekend.  It seats about 55,000 but it is pretty non-discrept and there really wasn't anything, that we could see, special.

The big tradition that MSU has are the cowbells that their fans bring and ring.  For years it was against SEC rules for artificial noisemakers but in 2010 the conference voted to allow MSU to use their cowbells.

We've faced the Bulldogs 5 different times, but our only game against them since 1919 was the Independence Bowl on New Year's Eve in 2000 - it was my freshman year.  It snowed in Shreveport and the running game was the only way to get the ball down the field - Ja'Mar Toombs had nearly 200 yards on the ground.  It went to OT and following a Toombs TD we had the PAT blocked and run back.  We lost a bowl game to MSU.

This week's game is a little different.  It is safe to say that this game will be the difference from us having a pleasantly surprising season to a WHOA season. 

A win on the road against a top 15 team would be huge for the program, and frankly, I think we've got a pretty good shot of doing it.

The Bulldogs have 7 wins but only one of those opponents has a winning record - their best win is against a 5-3 Middle Tennessee State? 
Their three SEC victories are against Auburn, Kentucky, and Tennessee - who are a combined 0-17 in SEC play. 

Basically, they're a product of their schedule.  They still have us, LSU, Arkansas, and Ole Miss on the schedule - they could very easily finish the season with a 5 game losing skid.

MSU O v. aTm D
  60 Rush 38
  63 Pass 80
  66  Tot 55
  43 Scor 34
Mississippi State's offense is worse than our defense.  Against that schedule.  This plays HUGE into our favor.
aTm O v. MSU D
  14 Rush 45
  19 Pass 21
   5  Tot 28
   3 Scor 15
Their defense has been pretty good - but they haven't faced an offense that comes close to touching us.

I think this is a winnable game as long as we don't go into a turnover slump.  Protect the ball and win.


No comments:

Post a Comment