Saturday, October 17, 2020, Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi, 4 p.m. ET
Aggies at Bulldogs Betting Preview: Aggies (-6.5), Bulldogs (+6.5)
Texas A&M Aggies
Quarterback Kellen Mond became Texas A&M’s all-time passing leader after throwing for 338 yards in the 41-38 win over Florida last week, raising his career total to 8,244 yards. He also holds the school record for completions (680) and attempts (1,168).
Coach Jimbo Fisher is concerned with his team’s defense as the No. 11 Aggies (2-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) take on Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense Saturday at Mississippi State.
“You have to be talented and you have to be diverse,” Fisher said. “Can you pressure the quarterback? Can you cover zone? Can you play man-to-man? I mean it’s about being diverse.
“Mike has always thrown the football around and he’s done a great job and he’s very sneaky with how he plays the running game. You’re going to have to play disciplined, hard and tough football.”
Fisher is very aware that the Bulldogs like to use many receivers. Even running back Kylin Hill, the SEC’s third-leading rusher last year, caught a school single-game record 15 passes last week.
“We’re going to have to tackle in space very well and not miss tackles,” Fisher said. “We’ll have to contain guys and keep leverage on the football. You look at their receivers and it’s usually eight to nine guys a game to catch balls. In their last game, their tailback had 15 catches, so you see the ball goes all over.”
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense that blitzed LSU for 44 points and 623 passing yards in the opener suddenly has sputtered the last two games in Mississippi State’s losses to Arkansas and Kentucky.
K.J. Costello passed for only 232 yards and had four interceptions as the Bulldogs (1-2, 1-2 SEC) failed to score a touchdown in the 24-2 loss to the Wildcats. Will Rogers relieved him and threw two more picks.
Leach was rather coy in answering a question about what Costello needed to do going forward. Ball security has to be an issue. The Stanford graduate transfer has an FBS-high nine interceptions this season.
“We’ll see,” Leach said. “We’re going to have competition at nearly every position out there because we need to get the most cohesive group. I think as far as being purely competitive out there at every position, I think that’s what we need to do. I think we need to take care of the football better for sure.”
The Bulldogs have had issues running the football with a meager 38.7 rushing average through three games. Hill has far more yards receiving (237 on 23 catches) than rushing (58 on 15 carries).
Aggies at Bulldogs Betting Pick for October 17 , 2020
If Costello gets back the form he showed in the opener against LSU, the football will be flying all over the place Saturday. A&M’s Mond is off to a great start and earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his play against Florida, the same honor Costello earned for his play against LSU in the opener.
Aggies at Bulldogs Betting Pick:
Aggies 42, Bulldogs 24
Aggies at Bulldogs Best Bet for October 17, 2020
Mond has seven 300-yard passing games in his career and an eighth looks to be well in reach. The Aggies will have to protect from a Mississippi State defense that leads the SEC in sacks with 12. The average of 4.0 per game is seventh in the nation.
Aggies at Bulldogs Best Bet: OVER 54.5
–Field Level Media