Mississippi State will be heading into one of the biggest games of head coach Joe Moorhead’s career when it faces the Tennessee Volunteers next week. While the Volunteers fell to Georgia 43-14 on Saturday, it played much better with freshman QB Brian Maurer under center.
Head coach Jeremy Pruitt is coaching for his job on Rocky Top and you can expect the Volunteers to be playing with their proverbial backs against the wall.
With the Bulldogs currently (3-2, 1-1 SEC), winning in Knoxville on Saturday will put the Dawgs in great position for a bowl game in Florida on New Year’s Day.
Here are the remaining games and where I believe the Bulldogs will finish the season.
Mississippi State only plays the Volunteers infrequently and the Bulldogs haven’t played inside Neyland Stadium since 2008 when the Vols won 34-3. The Bulldogs won 41-31 back in 2012.
The last time the Bulldogs won in Knoxville? 1986.
This season, the Vols lost to Georgia State to open the season. It’s been tough sledding as the Volunteers are 1-4 and 0-2 in the SEC. The series, in which Tennessee leads MSU 28-16-1, is not rekindled often. The Bulldogs are catching the Vols at a perfect time.
MSU needs this one, to quell any heat generated surrounding its head coach following the lopsided loss to Auburn.
They’ll get it in Knoxville.
The Bulldogs last played LSU in Starkville in 2017 and took the Tigers to the woodshed, beating Ed Orgeron’s team 37-7. It was one of the worst beatings of the Tigers in the history of the series. LSU got revenge over the Dawgs last season, beating MSU 19-3.
This season, LSU found an offense and are a machine behind quarterback Joe Burrow.
The Tigers (5-0, 1-0 SEC) defeated the Texas Longhorns in Austin and get a big test this weekend when LSU hosts the undefeated Florida Gators on Saturday.
The Tigers have too much offense for the Bulldogs.
This is an Aggies team that is very hard to read. Under head coach Jimbo Fisher, the former Florida State head coach has put all of his resources in quarterback Kellen Mond.
The Aggies are currently 3-2, 1-1 SEC, and you can go ahead and make that 3-3, as TAMU hosts Alabama this week.
This is a winnable game for MSU. If you tell me the Dawgs win in Knoxville, I like their chances in College Station. This one could go either way.
The first game in November for the Bulldogs will take place in Northwest Arkansas against the reeling Hogs. The Chad Morris experiment has been poor so far, with a loss to San Jose State and a close win over Portland State this season. It’s not been a banner season on the hill.
The Alabama Crimson Tide come calling to Starkville and will leave with a victory, similar to what has happened the previous weeks.
The Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC) will not be looking ahead, as it faces Western Carolina the following week.
The Tide will roll in Starkville.
Mississippi State will play Abilene Christian before the Egg Bowl.
MSU will name the score.
We will too.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will meet in Starkville for the 115 time, with the Rebels leading the all-time series 64-45-6. The Ole Miss lead is one sided, but MSU has had the edge the past 10 years.
The Bulldogs lead the Rebs 6-4 since 2009, thanks in large part to then-head coach Dan Mullen.
After Mullen departed for Florida, new MSU head coach Joe Moorhead was baptized into the rivalry last season in dramatic fashion, annihilating the Rebels in his debut 35-3 in a game that didn’t seem that close.
Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke is in his current position because of the 2017 win over Mississippi State.
As it stands, Moorhead will move to 2-0 against the Rebels and finish 8-4, 5-3 SEC, and land in a coveted bowl game with lots of sunshine.