Because 2020, 3-7 Mississippi State is bowling on New Year’s Eve. The Bulldogs are taking on 6-2 Tulsa, who’re ranked 24th in the nation and are hoping to end the year on a high note. So is State of course, but this year hasn’t brought many good tidings or, well, good anything since that Week 1 showing against LSU.
Remember that? Jesus, it’s been a long few months. It feels like ancient history ago. State fans would likely want to hold onto that and preserve that feeling, because it’s pretty much been tumultuous ever since. They never quite hit that kind of offensive efficiency, and while they did hit over 6.0 yards per play twice in their last three games, they went 1-2 in those affairs. Defensively, the team had issues aplenty. After allowing 3.0 YPP to Kentucky, State never allowed less than 5.0 YPP, going well over 6.0 on three separate occasions.
Tulsa’s offense has not been strong in the last two games. After hitting their stride midway through, they averaged 4.4 YPP against Navy and 5.4 against Cincinnati. They finished with an average of 5.6, a pretty good but not great number. But with that said, they’ll face a State defense with aforementioned struggles. So, it will be interesting to see if they can turn it around. Defensively, they’ve been tough hombres. They’ve allowed just 3.6 yards per carry and while passing yards will likely be State’s go-to, Tulsa’s pass defense has been pretty solid all season. They’ve allowed just 60.4 percent of passes to be completed, and have only given up 300+ yards on two separate occasions.
Much of this game will depend on if State can get off to a hot start. Tulsa have notoriously been slow starters this season, and if the Bulldogs can somehow get a big enough edge, they could create an uphill battle for the Golden Hurricane to climb. But that will be no easy task of course, as Tulsa does have one of the better defenses in the nation this year. Time shall soon tell how this matchup goes. And it is happening for... some damn reason.
How to Watch
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: WatchESPN
Spread: Tulsa -1.5
Moneyline: Tulsa -122 | Miss State +100