Mississippi State vs. BYU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Bulldogs and Cougars.
Mississippi State vs. BYU Game Preview
When: Friday, October 14 – 10:15 p.m. ET
Where: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Mississippi State was run out of its own stadium this past Saturday against Auburn, as the Tigers jumped to a 35-0 halftime lead and never looked back. The Bulldogs offense was a bit better in the second half, and quarterback Nick Fitzgerald ended up throwing two touchdowns, but the defense could not stop the run to save its life.
BYU earned its best win over the year, defeating a struggling Michigan State in East Lansing 31-14. The Cougars defense was all over the Spartans, holding them to 206 total yards while running back Jamaal Williams rushed 30 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
What To Know About Mississippi State
Life without Dak Prescott has been much more difficult than the Bulldogs expected. Quarterback play has been inconsistent, with Fitzgerald earning most of the playing time. Fitzgerald is Mississippi State’s leading rusher by 182 yards, so that tells you that the running game has been lacking as well.
The defense hasn’t been bad, allowing 371.4 yards per game, but it was pushed around and shredded by an Auburn offense that has been less than spectacular so far this season. Linebacker Richie Brown has been a bright spot, making 42 total tackles.
What to Know About BYU
The BYU offense goes as Williams goes, as the back as 866 yards and 10 touchdowns so far this season. Quarterback Taysom Hill has been decent, but needs to cut back on the six interceptions he has thrown. Hill can also run the ball, and provides an added dimension that Mississippi State will see later this year in a few SEC West quarterbacks.
The Cougars are tough against the run, allowing only 125.8 yards per game for 29th in the nation. Linebacker Sae Tautu was all over the field for BYU in the second half after having to sit down the first half due to a suspension, and can cause some pressure for quarterbacks, recording three sacks so far this season.
Offense: BYU. Williams is a stud that the Bulldogs must keep contained if they want to have a chance to win this game.
Defense: Tie. While the Cougars are good against the run, they could be exploited in the passing game by Bulldogs wide receiver Fred Ross.
Special Teams: BYU. The Mississippi State kicking game has been a mess all season long.
Coaching: Tie. Kalani Sitake is now in charge at BYU, and is facing pressure to perform as well as Bronco Mendenhall did in Provo.
Intangibles: BYU. Home games against an SEC team doesn’t come along all that often. The students will be hyped for this one.
Matchup To Watch
Mississippi State vs. altitude
It is cliché, but anytime that a team not used to the higher elevation visits Provo, they will have a hard time getting used to it. If this is a close game, expect the Cougars to be better conditioned.
Mississippi State vs. BYU Betting Odds
Spread: BYU -7
Mississippi State vs. BYU Prediction
Both teams are not having the best seasons so far, but BYU seemed to turn the table with good wins against Toledo and Michigan State the past two weeks. If Williams gets rolling like Auburn’s Kam Pettway did against the Bulldogs, it could be a long night in the city where Fletch visited Jim Swarthout’s fake property. Mississippi State needs this one badly, but between BYU’s talent and the home-field advantage, the Cougars will pull this one out in the second half. Caffeine-free soda for everyone!
Mississippi State vs. BYU Score Prediction: BYU 31, Mississippi State 23