No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday October 3rd, 7:30PM EST
Where: Kyle Field College Station, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MSU +7/A&M -7
Over/Under Total: 59
The Texas A&M Aggies moved to 4-0 last week with a 28-21 win over Arkansas in their SEC opener in the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium. The win moved the unbeaten A&M squad to 14th in the AP Poll and they will put that ranking on the line this Saturday at home against the no. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are also coming off a tough conference win on the road nevertheless with their 17-9 victory at Auburn. It was a nice rebound victory for the Bulldogs after their close loss to LSU back in week 2 and it will give Mississippi State the chance to climb back into the SEC West picture if they can come out of College Station with a victory this Saturday night.
The Aggies had their backs against the wall last week for the 2nd straight year against Arkansas in the 4th quarter. However just like in 2014, Texas A&M found a way to come back and get a victory in overtime over the Razorbacks. It was a clutch performance for Kevin Sumlins Aggies in an important SEC opener and if they can get past Mississippi State this weekend it will set the stage for a run at the SEC West given their remaining schedule. This weeks big matchup will be highlighted by A&Ms spread offense that will have to do battle with a very physical Mississippi State defense.
Despite Arkansas playing keep away with the football last week, Texas A&M was still able to make the most of their offensive drives. Quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 358 yards and continued on a stellar pace that includes a season passing line of 65.2% passing for 952 yards with 11 touchdowns and just 2 picks. While Allen has been fantastic throwing the football, it was actually freshman Christian Kirk that emerged out of Arlington as the star last week. Kirk posted his 3rd game of more than 100 yards receiving and completely put the Aggies offense on his back catching 8 passes for 173 yards with 2 touchdowns.
Kirk actually caught the game winning 20 yard touchdown pass in overtime that eventually resulted in the victory. The young freshman has become one of the biggest weapons for A&Ms offense and he will present some matchup problems again this week for Mississippi State. For Mississippi State, their goal will be to get pressure on Allen and force him to get rid of the ball quickly. If Allen has time to throw the football, I am not sure the Bulldogs will be able to stop Kirk and the rest of the A&M receiving corps. However, Mississippi State does have one of the more physical defenses in the conference so if they are able to win the battle in the trenches then they will have every opportunity to win this football game.
The Bulldogs offense also has plenty of weapons to work with as well. Senior quarterback Dak Prescott has done it all. Prescott has been in these big games and he has multiple ways to break down defenses with his added running ability. So far this season, Prescott has thrown 7 touchdowns without a single interception and completed 66% of his passes. It will be interesting to see which teams gets a good start in this game because I believe Mississippi State can do a lot of the things Arkansas did last week by converting first downs on the ground while limiting A&Ms touches on offense. If the Bulldogs can get into that type of rhythm, they should be tough to beat.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Aggies are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games at home while ironically the Bulldogs have covered the mark in 7 of their last 10 games on the road. I eluded to my prediction previously but I think Mississippi State can chew up the clock with their running ability. More importantly I think the Bulldogs can win the battle upfront on both sides of the ball to make things very difficult for A&M. I would not be surprised to see Mississippi State win this football game. The points are just extra. Take Mississippi State +7
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