Mississippi St. Bulldogs vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
The Mississippi State Bulldogs look to end their two game skid as they host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday. Mississippi St. is -20 point favorites over Louisiana Tech with an over/under point total set at 54.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs started their season with an impressive win against Memphis but after two SEC games MSU finds themselves at 1-2 and looking to get back to even on the year. Expectations for Dan Mullen’s team are that they are ready to take it to the next level but the Bulldogs still haven’t been able to get a signature win against a top program, what it would take to get over the hump. Chris Relf has looked good at QB completing 62 percent of his passes for 493 yards and three touchdowns but Tyler Russell got a look last game as the offense couldn’t get rolling against LSU. While Relf has rushed for 213 yards the running game for Mississippi State is all about Vick Ballard who has 346 yards rushing and four touchdowns and eight catches for 96 yards and Ballard is just one of the more under rated players in the country. Jameon Lewis has five catches for 116 yards and a touchdown but Chad Bumphis appears underutilized catching just five balls for 82 yards and a touchdown. Defensively Mississippi State showed some toughness against LSU but the offense didn’t get it done well enough to get the win. The Bulldog defense is led by Charles Mitchell who has 28 tackles, Cam Lawrence with 24 tackles, and Caroey Broomfield with 16 tackles but when a team’s three leading tacklers are all defensive backs that is usually a sign of problems. Mississippi State will need to win this one and gain some momentum as there aren’t many soft spots on the schedule.
The Louisiana Tech has lost two games by a combined three points and while a loss is still a loss it’s apparent that Sonny Dykes’ team isn’t as bad as many thought they would be this season. QB Nick Isham has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 693 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. The La Tech running game has been effective as Lennon Creer, the Tennessee transfer, has rushed for 347 yards and five touchdowns and Ray Holley has rushed for 139 yards and four touchdowns. Like most Dykes’ offenses they try to be a passing team and Quinton Patton has 18 catches for 388 yards and three touchdowns and Taulib Ikharo has 11 catches for 135 yards. Defensively Jay Dudley has 28 tackles, Adrien Cole has 26, and Jamel Johnson has 23. The defense has done a decent job and looks to be improved over last year’s team.
Mississippi State is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a favorite, 3-11-1 against the spread when playing a team with a losing record, and 1-7 against the spread as a favorite of 10.5 points or more. Louisiana Tech is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as an underdog, 13-5 against the spread following a straight up loss, and 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games against SEC teams.
While Mississippi State is home and this is a big step down in competition this is just a lot of points for a team whose defense is somewhat suspect. I don’t see Louisiana Tech pulling an upset but they should stay within the number and could make it exciting.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +20 Mississippi St. Bulldogs