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Week 11 - Mississippi State at Texas A&M
Posted Nov 7, 2013

Week 11 SEC Fearless Predictions & Preview - Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Mississippi State (4-4) at Texas A&M (7-2) Nov. 9 3:30, CBS

Why You Should Give A Hoot: The two teams played in an epic Independence Bowl at the end of 2000 – a 43-41 Mississippi State win in the snow – but the Aggies rolled at will last year in the first season as SEC brothers. This time around, Texas A&M is once again fighting for a decent bowl bid, but it has plenty of work to do with road games at LSU and Missouri to close things out. In the final home game of the season, the high-octane offense should put on a show, while Mississippi State is hoping to come up with the one big win needed to turn the year around.

The Bulldogs need to win two of the last four games to get to a bowl, and with Alabama, at Arkansas and Ole Miss to close things out, it’s not going to be exactly easy to avoid a disastrous finishing kick. Can Mississippi State keep up the pace? Can it turn it loose to give the Aggies a battle? Head coach Dan Mullen might not be on a true hot seat quite yet, but he needs to come up with a huge win at some point to show that the potential is there to for the program to become a player. It’ll have plenty of chances over the next month.

Mississippi State is 4-3 in the series, but the two teams first met in 1912 with three of the seven meetings coming before 1917.

Why Mississippi State Might Win: The Texas A&M defense continues to be a disaster. UTEP didn’t go anywhere, and Vanderbilt only came up with 24 points, but everyone who has the slightest ability to get the ball deep doesn’t have too many problems. Can Mississippi State muster up a passing game for one big week? The Bulldogs can throw a little bit, cranking out 200 yards or more in every game this year with the ability to get the ball deep from time to time. The MSU offensive front needs to control the mediocre Texas A&M pass rush from the start and give the quarterbacks time to operate. It will.

Why Texas A&M Might Win: Defenses are dead against the Aggies anyway, but those who can’t generate any pressure behind the line have no chance whatsoever. Mississippi State’s defensive front doesn’t get to the quarterback, ranking last in the SEC in sacks and not getting enough key plays against the run. Not only is the MSU defense struggling with its consistency, it doesn’t work in when push comes to shove, ranking second-to-last in America in red zone defense. Mr. Manziel and company don’t need any more help.

Who To Watch Out For: Is this the last home game in Johnny Manziel’s career? If he’s off to the NFL early, then this really and truly might be the final moment in a wild and legendary run – and the crowd is going to sense it. He might not be having the same success as last year, but he’s been more than good enough to finish up on a Heisman ballot, rushing for 564 yards and eight scores so far while throwing for 319 yards per game with 26 touchdowns. Last year against the Bulldogs he had one of his best rushing days of the season with 129 yards and two scores to go along with a fantastic 30-of-36 day passing for311 yards in the 38-13 win. He might not have to be his normal magical self for the Aggies to win, but he’ll put on a show.

What Will Happen: Manziel was be Manziel and the big plays will come early. Mississippi State will fight throughout, but it will have to take to many chances and will make too many mistakes.

Prediction: Texas A&M 41 … Mississippi State 20
Line: Texas A&M -19 o/u: 67
Must See Rating: (5 The Wolf of Wall Street – 1 Ass Backwards) … 2.5
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