Two Southeastern Conference teams that desperately need a win will meet Saturday night when Mississippi State visits Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
The Bulldogs (4-5, 1-5) have lost two straight and five of seven as they prepare for the Aggies (5-4, 3-3).
Teams need at least six wins to be bowl-eligible.
Mississippi State’s offensive struggles continued last weekend in a 24-3 loss at Kentucky.
Playing without record-setting quarterback Will Rogers and standout running back Jo’Quavious Marks, coach Zach Arnett’s offense scored in single digits for the second time this season. The first time was when the Bulldogs beat Arkansas 7-3 on Oct. 21 in Fayetteville.
Against the Wildcats, quarterback Mike Wright led a Mississippi State offense that produced just 218 yards of total offense — 145 passing and 73 rushing.
Oddly, the visitors’ lone score — Kyle Ferrie’s 25-yard field goal — culminated a massive 20-play, 88-yard drive that nearly consumed an entire quarter (12:29).
Rogers has been progressing and could be the quarterback for the Bulldogs’ game on Saturday, but Arnett also liked what he saw from backup Chris Parson.
“I think he did a nice job coming in and providing a spark,” Arnett said of Parson, who was 6 of 14 for 67 yards. “He pushed the ball down the field. His stat line, he had a couple drops, or he would be up there close to 100 yards passing.”
Meanwhile, the Aggies suffered more frustration Saturday as Randy Bond’s 47-yard field-goal attempt for the tie was partially blocked at the final whistle at No. 10 Ole Miss, sending the Aggies to a 38-35 setback and their third defeat in four games.
“We had opportunities in all three phases,” said Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher. “We needed (those areas) to make one more play. It could’ve put us over the top.”
Fisher’s team rallied from three two-touchdown deficits behind Max Johnson’s 305 yards of passing, though the Aggies’ defense allowed 518 yards of offense to the Rebels.
A 19-point underdog by Tuesday after opening at 13, the Bulldogs have won the last two meetings overall against the Aggies as well as two of the last three in College Station.
–Field Level Media