Tulsa's incredible season will culminate on New Year's Eve when they face Mississippi State in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. Mississippi State is hoping to prove how tough the SEC is as their 3-7 record would make anyone question how they even got the opportunity to play in a bowl game. Tulsa, on the other hand, is 6-2 and ranked in the top 25.
(Late line movements and injury reports were updated on Wednesday evening.)
The line has moved in favor of the visiting team for this contest as the week has gone on. Tulsa opened as a three-point favorite when the lines came out and, as of Wednesday evening, Tulsa now stands as a one or a 1.5-point favorite at the majority of sportsbooks for this contest. 65 percent of the bets ATS are backing the Golden Hurricane giving the points as they look to earn the victory in the Armed Forces Bowl.
The total for this contest has moved down somewhat during this week. After opening at 50 points, the total has bumped down to 45 or 45.5 points, depending on your sportsbook of choice. A solid majority, 59 percent, of the bets on the total are expecting this contest to end up staying under the mark.
Game-time Weather: It’s going to be a chilly, wet afternoon in the Lone Star State to close out 2020. Temperatures at kickoff are expected to be about 40 degrees with cloudy skies and the real-feel temperature in the high-20s. There is close to a 60 percent chance of rain at kickoff and that percentage varies from 50 to 65 percent during the contest. The mercury will climb into the mid-40s during the game with the real-feel logging in the mid-30s. Winds are from the north-northeast at 13 miles an hour with the wind gusts kicking up to 16 miles an hour.
Mississippi State had a slight uptick in their poor offense recentlyThe Bulldogs have not been good this season, especially early on. After winning their opening game against LSU, Mississippi State lost four games in a row and scored 30 points in that stretch. The offense hasn't been good this season and specifically, the run game has been a disgrace, rushing for 36 yards per game. While the offense has struggled this season, they scored 51 points against Missouri in their final game of the season, giving hope for their matchup against Tulsa.
After sitting behind KJ Costello for the early part of the season, freshman quarterback Will Rogers has become the starter for Mississippi State. Rogers has stepped up immensely for the Bulldogs, including nearly 300 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in the victory against Missouri. Rogers will need to have another great performance considering the run game is non-existent.
Mississippi State Injury Report:
OUT: S Marcus Murphy, DT Nathan Pickering
Questionable: WR JaVonta Payton
Tulsa gets the job done on defenseTulsa was a field goal away from upsetting a top ten Cincinnati program and finishing the regular season 7-1. This season has been a remarkable one, to say the least as head coach Philip Montgomery has turned this program into one of the best in the AAC and has worked himself into the discussion to land a big-time head coaching job.
Tulsa is led by a defense that is only 20.8 points per game. Arguably their best defensive player has been linebacker Zaven Collins, who leads the defense in sacks and interceptions with 4 in both categories. While the defense stands its ground, the offense is averaging 400 yards a game. While Zach Smith may not be having a great season under center, the running game is a three-headed monster behind Corey Taylor II, TK Wilkerson, and Deneric Prince, all three have rushed for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.
Tulsa Injury Report:
OUT: QB Seth Boomer, RB Shamari Brooks, LB Yohance Burnett, RB T.K. Wilkerson
Questionable: QB Carson Collins
- Golden Hurricane are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Golden Hurricane are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games in December.
- Golden Hurricane are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on grass.
- Golden Hurricane are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 bowl games.
- Bulldogs are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight-up win.
- Bulldogs are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following an ATS win.
- Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog.
- Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.