A Top 25 matchup is in store in the Southeastern Conference when the #6 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1, 3-1 SEC) host the #24 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-2, 2-2 SEC) in primetime on ESPN. Both squads will try and rebound after losing their Week 7 matchups.
The kickoff of the conference clash is at 7 p.m. EST inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Crimson Tide are 21-point favorites, and the over/under total is 61.0 points.
What to Know – #24 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State is piecing together a solid season under the direction of head coach Mike Leach. The Bulldogs have victories over Texas A&M and Arkansas, while their two losses came at the hands of LSU and Kentucky.
Quarterback Will Rogers continues to thrive in Leach’s air raid offense, tossing 23 touchdown passes and throwing just four interceptions. The junior has completed 71.2% of his throws for 2,324 yards, fourth-most in college football.
The Bulldogs don’t run it often, tallying 651 yards as a team through seven games. When MSU does use the ground game, the carries are split between Dillion Johnson and Joquavious Marks. The two have combined for 666 yards and eight touchdowns.
Six receivers have over 20 receptions, with three of those pass-catchers already surpassing 30 catches this season. Caleb Ducking leads the team with 33 receptions and seven touchdowns, while Rara Thomas is the Bulldogs’ leader with 383 yards through the air.
What to Know – #6 Alabama Crimson Tide
A 15-year winning streak came to a close last week when the Crimson Tide fell to the Tennessee Volunteers on the road in the most-watched game in college football this season. The defeat knocked Alabama out of the Top 5 and into second place in the SEC West.
Bryce Young did everything he could in the loss to keep Alabama in the game. The Heisman candidate came back to the lineup after an injury that kept him out of the victory over Texas A&M. Young has thrown 16 touchdowns and three interceptions, totaling 1,657 yards through the air.
Jahmyr Gibbs, the Georgia Tech transfer, has emerged as the team’s playmaker offensively. Gibbs was splitting time with Jase McClellan, but his play has won over the lead role in Alabama’s running game. The junior is averaging 7.2 yards per carry and is the team’s third-leading receiver.
Young likes to spread the ball around to different playmakers, whether it be the wide receivers, tight ends, or running backs. Gibbs leads the team with 27 receptions, while wide receiver Ja’Corey Brooks is the leader in yards with 302. Brooks and Traeshon Holden have hauled in four TDs a piece.
The Pick is In
Two of the better offenses in the league go at it against a pair of defenses that each give up around 20 points per game to opponents. Alabama is fuming after the loss to the Vols and will take that anger out on the Bulldogs’ defense.
The Pick: Alabama/Mississippi State OVER 61