College Football Pick
There wasn’t much to get excited about after these two teams’ openers. South Carolina grinded out a 13-10 win at Vanderbilt after only scoring three points in the first three quarters. As for Mississippi State, things didn’t go as well, falling 21-20 at home to South Alabama. The Bulldogs still opened as a decent-sized -6.5 point favorite at home as seen at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
The loss for Mississippi State was gut wrenching to say the least. South Alabama isn’t a bad team, but they also aren’t a good team by any means. The Bulldogs were a -27.5 point favorite and looked set to cover with a 17-0 halftime lead. But then things fell apart and in the Fourth quarter, they allowed two touchdown drives of 99 yards and 71 yards.
The importance of Dak Prescott was evident throughout the Game as he did everything for the team a year ago. Damian Williams was fine at quarterback, completing 20-of-28 passes for 143 yards, while running for 93 more yards, but it obviously wasn’t enough, especially since the offense only scored three points in the second half. Even on the other end it wasn’t pretty, allowing new South Alabama quarterback Dallas Davis to throw for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
Of course, South Carolina wasn’t great in the opener either, but they at least got a Conference win. Vanderbilt ran it well on the Gamecocks, but they had no luck passing the ball, with Vandy’s QB going just 8-of-22 for 73 yards. Expect this contest to be another close, low-scoring Game.
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The Gamecocks used two quarterbacks in the opener and that’ll probably be the case here. Perry Orth got the start and had an okay Game throwing for 152 yards, while Brandon McIlwain, who’s a little more mobile, threw for just 35 yards.
The way for the Bulldogs to win this Game is via the ground, which is the route Vanderbilt took. Miss. State will use Damien Williams and running back Brandon Holloway as much as possible to put points on the board. If that doesn’t work, they may fall to the same fate as the Commodores, who ran the ball just fine, but couldn’t score.
Under Will Muschamp, it looks like the Gamecocks are ready to battle, at least against the conference’s lower tier. It may not be a pretty season for South Carolina, but they found a way to win the first Game and that should help bring confidence into another road SEC Game.
Our Pick – We can’t ignore the loss of Prescott and what he meant to this Miss St team. But we also can’t ignore that this SC team was 3-9 a year ago and figures to be a work in progress for the foreseeable future. Coming off a home loss to South Alabama should only add fuel to the fire here. That was a text book 2nd half letdown by the Bulldogs and you can be sure that won’t happen this week. Miss St -6.5