This is about as ugly as it gets in the Egg Bowl as both schools could be headed for a losing record. Mississippi State at least has a chance for a bowl game and opened as -3 point home favorites for the rivalry.
This was a complete domination by Mississippi State (35-3) when these teams met last year, and that one came in Oxford. The Bulldogs controlled both lines of scrimmage, but unfortunately, they aren’t as good as last year’s team.
They’ve lost five of their last six SEC games with the win coming against Arkansas. It’s hard to fault them for losing to a lot of the teams in the West division, but then they fell 20-10 to Tennessee.
It hasn’t been any better for Ole Miss whose only conference wins came against Vandy and Arkansas. The Rebels at least have some hope and should challenge in this game because that’s what they’ve done against most competition.
They scored 37 points against LSU last game and lost by single digits to both Texas A&M and Auburn. This matchup should be closer than last year’s, but the Rebs will need some help winning on the road.
Ole Miss is allowing a ton of yards (425.7 per game), yet a solid 27 points per game, which has come in handy for a number of covers this season. That should again be the case because MSU’s offense has only had success against Arkansas and Abilene Christian in the last couple months.
Neither Tommy Stevens nor Garrett Shrader have provided much through the air, combining for 7.3 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. That doesn’t help because most of the yards Ole Miss allows is via the pass.
Stevens has started the last couple games and while he’s provided some sparks, rushing for 170 yards, that hasn’t resulted in much. He ran for 96 yards against Alabama, yet MSU scored just seven points in that loss.
The Bulldogs will continue that run-first mentality with running back Kylin Hill also in the mix who is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Ole Miss isn’t great against the run but is allowing a solid 3.8 ypc.
The Bulldogs have actually been worse defensively, allowing 4.8 yards per carry and 31 points per game. The opportunity will be there for revenge and an outright upset, yet the Rebels may be even worse passing the ball.
Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has seen more time because he’s been awesome on the ground, averaging 7.3 yards per carry for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. Even against LSU last game, he went for 212 yards and four touchdowns.
Throw in running backs Jerrion Ealy and Snoop Conner and it wouldn’t be surprising if this offense was the best unit in this matchup. Of course, if MSU stops the run, Plumlee is averaging 5.8 yards per pass on 51.5% completion.
Mississippi State may be at home, but its run defense has been a problem all season and that could easily decide this game.
The under has hit in MSU’s last four home games and it’s 1-5 ATS in its last six against the SEC. The under has hit in five of the last six meetings between these schools and the road team has covered the last four.
Our Pick – Ole Miss +3