The Mississippi State Bulldogs will travel to Sanford Stadium to face off against one of the nation’s best teams in the Georgia Bulldogs. Mississippi State is currently 2-4 this year and are coming off a 24-17 win over Vanderbilt last week to snap a four-game losing streak. Georgia is sitting at 4-2 and are a game behind the Florida Gators for the SEC East division and are coming off a bye week after their game scheduled against Missouri was postponed due to COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. Georgia is currently the 13th ranked program in college football with their solid rushing game leading the way.
Under center for Mississippi State will be freshman Will Rogers, who is coming off a decent stat line against the Commodores. For Georgia, they will have the experience factor in their corner with junior Stetson Bennett at the quarterback position. These programs are built differently and could have an interesting clashing of styles that will make this game unique to other matchups on the same slate. Both Bulldogs will move the ball but which team can end up putting points on the board and take control of the game?
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Saturday afternoon.)
The line has stayed pretty flat for this SEC crossover tilt during the week at most sportsbooks. Georgia opened as a 24-point favorite but that has barely moved during the week. As of Saturday afternoon, the line can be found as Georgia -24.5 or -25 at the majority of sportsbooks. A solid majority, 61 percent, of the bets ATS are backing the Bulldogs giving the points in this contest.
The total for this contest has moved down slightly during the week. After opening at 45.5 points, the total currently sits at 44.5 points at most sportsbooks. 52% of the bets are on the Over.
Game-time Weather: Temperature at kickoff is expected to be in the high-50s for this contest under mostly clear skies. The temperature will fall into the mid-50s during the game with a few clouds rolling in though there is no precipitation in the forecast. Winds are expected to blow from the east-northeast around four miles an hour with the gusts cranking up around six miles per hour.
Pass the Ball or StruggleIt is a very difficult situation for Will Rogers to be in as he is about to compete in his fifth career start but the third against a team ranked in the Top-13. If you combine his two games against Alabama and Texas A&M, Rogers has 39-of-55 (70.9 completion percentage) for 267 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The bright spots are there as he is not getting sacked with just five sacks through his first four games but he is essentially playing the role of a game manager against the top teams in the SEC. For Mississippi State to have a chance in this game, Rogers will need to step up big time and put on the performance of his life against the second-best defense in the conference.
The Georgia Bulldogs are susceptible to making mistakes with their passing defense. Their defense is built to completely take the running game out of the arsenal for the opposing play-caller but they allow 262.8 passing yards per game, which is the fifth-most in the SEC. Guys like senior wide receiver Osirus Mitchell are going to need to play a solid game and beat some coverages if Mississippi State can take advantage of Georgia’s one flaw defensively. It’ll be interesting to see how often head coach Mike Leach and his staff decide to throw the ball in this game and what routes they can call to give their offense a chance.
Mississippi State Injury Report:
OUT: RB Kylin Hill, S Marcus Murphy, DT Nathan Pickering
Questionable: QB K.J. Costello
Ground and Pound Needs to be SoundIf you have watched Georgia Bulldogs football throughout recent memory, they are known primarily for accomplishing one thing superiorly: running the football. Sophomore running back Zamir White will be getting most of the carries as he ran the ball 97 times for 509 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and seven rushing touchdowns on the season. He is coming off rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries against the Florida Gators. In that performance, White finished a career-high 15.4 yards per carry mainly because of his 75-yard run. It helps with the push that the offensive line gives him but Mississippi State gives in the trenches.
Mississippi State has allowed the third-fewest rushing yards per game in the SEC with 127.2 but that number is a little misleading as they are giving up 178.6 rushing yards in their last three games. Georgia runs the ball a smidge under 40 times per game so it’s a strength in the offense going against the strength of the defense. Georgia is averaging 4.4 yards per carry as a team and really depends on the rushing attack to get the offense rolling. In order to be successful, they need to get the ground-and-pound game going throughout the entire game.
Georgia Injury Report:
OUT: QB Stetson Bennett, WR Dominick Blaylock, WR Tommy Bush, DB Richard Lecounte, RB Kendall Milton, QB Jamie Newman, WR Marcus Rosemy
Questionable: DB Lewis Cine, OL Owen Condon, DL Jordan Davis, LB Walter Grant, DL Julian Rochester
- Georgia: 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS loss
- Georgia: 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games in November
- Mississippi St: 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games
- Mississippi St: 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games