Game Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT
TV: American Sports Network (Syndicated via network affiliates listed here)
Odds (via oddsshark.com): Mississippi State -21.5 as of Thursday evening, opened at -25, Over/Under: 47
In one of the more bizarre road games of the SEC schedule, Mississippi State will match up with UMass Saturday afternoon in a return for Dan Mullen to the New England area in which he grew up. UMass splits their home games between the on-campus McGuirk Alumni Stadium and the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium with the Mississippi State game being held at the NFL facility nearly 100 miles from campus.
After Nick Fitzgerald led the Mississippi State offense to a record-setting night two weeks ago against South Carolina, it appeared that he may have solidified the quarterback position over Damian Williams. However, after an anemic offensive performance last week at LSU with Williams offering a spark off the bench, it would not be surprising if the snaps were split earlier with the hot hand getting more of the workoad later on.
UMass has quarterback questions of their own as starter Ross Comis missed last week’s game due to injury and JUCO transfer Andrew Ford threw for more than 275 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s win over Florida International. Comis’ status is unclear for Saturday, so look for Ford to likely take most of the snaps.
This will be UMass’ second SEC game of the season as they opened the season on the road at Florida with a 24-7 loss to the Gators. Florida’s defense held UMass to 187 offensive yards and the lone touchdown for the Minutemen was a rushing touchdown from Comis.
While Florida’s defense appears to be more stout than Mississippi State’s, the Bulldogs should not have a problem with dispatching UMass. The game should, however, offer an opportunity for Mississippi State to hone its offensive identity going forward for the season.
Prediction: Mississippi State 34, UMass 13