Rankings: Mississippi State (S&P+: 19) | Texas A&M (S&P+: 60)
Time: 6:15 p.m. CT/7:15 p.m. ET
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Series History: The series between State and A&M is tied, 5-5-0. The teams have traded wins and losses in the last four meetings.
Last Time We Met...: Mississippi State emerged victorious 35-28 last season.
Spread: The line opened at 2 points in favor of the Aggies. It’s jumped to 3-3.5
O/U: The total started at 53.5. It’s leapt to 57.5-58.
Records ATS: Mississippi State (5-2) | Texas A&M (4-3)
Mississippi State and Texas A&M are both in pretty interesting spots as we near the end of October. The Aggies are clinging to their spot in the SEC West, holding just one loss to this point. It was to the Alabama Crimson Tide, and there’s really no shame in that.
State, meanwhile, came out guns blazing against the LSU Tigers. They were then promptly trounced by the Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers in consecutive games. Last week, it was them who did the clubbing, throttling the Kentucky Wildcats 45-7. It was one of their more impressive wins of the year, but they have to aim to string these kinds of performances together.
The metrics lean towards State, even with their 5-2 record and the fact that the game is in College Station. Their win probability is 67%, which is pretty hearty considering the circumstances. It’s likely due to the fact that State’s offense is so dynamic, while A&M’s has been pretty up and down. Nick Fitzgerald is more of a sure thing than Kellen Mond.
The Aggies defense will present problems though. While they’re vulnerable to give up big plays, some of their numbers are quite good on defense. They rank in the Top 30 in Rushing and Passing S&P+. Their Rushing and Passing Success Rates are no worse than 51st (rushing) and stand at 36th against the pass. They’ll need everything they’ve got against the dynamic Bulldogs offense if they want to pick up the win on Saturday evening. That much is certain.
To succeed on offense, though, they’ll need to outscheme a State defense that has been brilliant this year. They, like the Aggies, have been vulnerable to big plays. But on the whole, their metrics are quite outstanding. Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat have both been dominant on the D-Line, as have linebackers Dezmond Harris and Gerri Green. The Ags will have their hands full. That much is certain.
Although the defenses are quite good, I don’t expect this to be a low-scoring affair. On the contrary, in fact.
Prediction: Mississippi State 30, Texas A&M 23