Aggies will qualify for bowl with win over Mississippi State
Thu, Nov 9, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
Mississippi State (4-5, 1-5 SEC) at Texas A&M (5-4, 3-3), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Line: Texas A&M by 19 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Mississippi State leads 9-7.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Texas A&M needs a win to become bowl eligible after failing to qualify last season. The Aggies have lost three of four capped by last week's 38-35 loss at Ole Miss. This week they'll face a Mississippi State team that is coming off consecutive losses to Auburn and Kentucky.
Texas A&M: QB Max Johnson vs. Mississippi State's pass defense. Johnson is expected to start Saturday despite getting banged up after taking several big hits last week. He'll face a defense that ranks 66th in the country by allowing 229.9 yards passing a game. He threw for a season-high 305 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss to Ole Miss.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mississippi State: WR Lideatrick Griffin. He leads the Bulldogs with 554 yards receiving and set a school record with 256 yards receiving in a loss to South Carolina in September.
Texas A&M: LB Edgerrin Cooper. The junior leads the SEC and is tied for fifth in the nation with 16 tackles for losses this season. His seven sacks rank second in the conference and he's ninth in the SEC with 59 tackles.
FACTS & FIGURES
Mississippi State has won the last two games in the series. ... The Bulldogs have forced at least one turnover in 10 of their last 14 games. ... Mississippi State has scored in 41 straight games. ... Jo'Quavious Marks holds the school record for receptions with 206 in his career. He has at least one reception in each of the 43 games he's played. ... DT Nathan Pickering has a career-high 35 tackles with two sacks this season. ... LB Jett Johnson leads the SEC with 92 tackles and fellow LB Nathaniel Watson is second with 87. ... The Aggies rank sixth in the SEC by averaging 32.3 points a game. ... Texas A&M leads Power Five schools with 81 tackles for losses and ranks second with 34 sacks. ... WR Ainias Smith ranks eighth in the SEC with 72.4 yards receiving a game and is ninth by averaging 16.7 yards per catch. ... WR Evan Stewart is averaging 63.3 yards receiving a game. ... DL Shemar Turner has at least one tackle for a loss in seven of Texas A&M's nine games.
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