by Zack Lambert
October 15th, 2020
#11 Texas A&M at Mississippi State
Spread: State (+5)
Moneyline: A&M (-200); State (+170)
Time and Location: 4:00 ET, Starkville, Mississippi
Texas A&M (2-1)
A&M pulled off the upset of the weekend when they kicked a field goal to beat Florida at the end of the game. Seth Small’s kick left no time on the clock for the Gators, but the Aggies offense was unbelievable on Saturday. I should preface this by saying that Florida’s defense is truly one of the worst products I’ve ever seen on a decent team, but A&M was fantastic. Kellen Mond became the player we all expected to see if things went perfectly. Isaiah Spiller stepped up and was great in a big moment. Caleb Chapman, despite his injury, was great. The offense put up 543 yards and only turned the football over once. Efficiency across the board was stellar and I don’t know if we’ll see that type of performance agai out of A&M.
The defense was still bad. Stopping Kyle Trask will be one of the toughest tasks of the season and A&M wasn’t up to it this weekend. The 312 yards and four touchdowns in the air wasn’t ideal, but the run stop was. Florida ran 24 times for just 90 yards and that probably won A&M this game. The ability to keep the ball in Trask’s hands actually played out well so A&M had time to score twice to close the game. A&M only sacked Trask once and recovered a single forced fumble so we need to see more playmaking from the defense, but a win is a win. Jimbo Fisher’s hot seat is probably cool for a while.
Mississippi State (1-2)
I’m not going to stay here for a long time. Mississippi State is going to turn into what Washington State was, and that’s an inconsistent product that we don’t really know what will happen each time we see them. However, while Wazzu is in the Pac-12, Mississippi State is in the vastly more talented SEC. Leach can run his air raid here but he can’t be so reckless, or else you’ll lose 24-2 to a Kentucky team who was objectively terrible on Saturday. I don’t know how State is going to look on Saturday. I don’t think anyone, including them, does either.
Analysis and Pick
The game is going to be in Starkville so I figure that State might look a bit better than they have recently, but not much better. Texas A&M is hot and they’re playing an offense that’s much easier to defend that Florida’s is. The offense should be able to keep clicking while the defense has an opportunity to get right. Expect Fisher to spur his team to a blowout to follow up on last weekend’s resume builder. Take A&M to cover the spread.